Gun violence in the US varies by state. Alaska has the highest gun violence death rate (25/100,000) and some of the weakest gun laws. Hawaii has the lowest gun violence death rate (2/100,000) – 1/10 the rate of Alaska - and some of the country’s strongest gun laws.
Strong state gun laws include laws such as background checks on all gun sales, closed loopholes that allow domestic abusers to access guns, and community violence interruption programs. Some states with strong gun laws – like Illinois (IL) - are undermined by neighboring states with weak gun laws. For example, more than half the guns used in crimes in IL come from nearby states.
In 2019, 23 states passed 55 life saving gun laws including:
- Expanding/strengthening background check laws
- Improved laws to prevent child access to guns
- Funds for community violence reduction programs
- Extreme Risk Protection Orders
In addition, 41 gun lobby bills to weaken gun laws were defeated such as:
- Permitless Carry (no permit required for carrying concealed weapon in public)
- Guns in K-12 Schools
- Guns on Campus
Unfortunately, fifteen states passed 18 gun lobby laws to weaken gun laws such as:
- Making it easier for people to carry hidden guns in public without a permit
- Restricting ability of local governments to regulate guns