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Gun Violence in Washington State

There are many facets of gun violence in Washington state that stand out as exception, unusual, or above the national average, explain Chelsea Parsons and Lauren Speigel.

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idea light bulbBy many measures, gun violence in Washington state is in the middle range of what is common across the nation. In a 2013 Center for American Progress analysis of gun violence across all 50 states, Washington had slightly below-average rates of overall firearm deaths, overall firearm homicides, firearm homicides of women, gun deaths of children, and aggravated assaults with a firearm. Washington is also middle of the road when it comes to the strength of its gun laws: The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign awarded Washington a “C” for its gun laws in 2013, finding that the state has some measures in place to prevent dangerous people from accessing firearms but that the laws still have dangerous gaps.

However, other measures show that gun violence remains unacceptably high in Washington. In 2011—the most recent year for which data are available—624 people were killed with a gun, meaning someone dies from a gunshot wound in Washington every 14 hours. This brief highlights 9 measures of gun violence and gun crime in Washington state that stand out as exceptional, unusual, or well above the national average.

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