Center for American Progress

RELEASE: CAP Report Finds Delaware Ranks 29th in Nation in New Gun Violence Index
Press Release

RELEASE: CAP Report Finds Delaware Ranks 29th in Nation in New Gun Violence Index

Gun Violence Index Measures Average Rate of Gun Violence Across 10 Indicators

Washington, D.C. — A new Center for American Progress report released today has found that Delaware ranks 29th in the nation for the overall rate of gun violence. While Delaware had relatively low rates of some types of gun violence, including fatal gun accidents and mass shootings, the state had high rates of gun-related homicides and gun deaths of people younger than age 21. The report also found that, from 2005 to 2014, 463 people in Delaware died by gun-related suicide.

The report analyzes 10 specific indicators of gun violence in all 50 states and found that the 10 states with the weakest gun laws collectively have levels of gun violence that are more than three times higher than the 10 states with the strongest gun laws. The Center for American Progress has also published an interactive map that links to state specific fact sheets providing detailed information about gun violence in Delaware.

“There is an unquestionable link between the strength of a state’s gun laws and the rates of gun violence in the state,” said Chelsea Parsons, Vice President for Guns and Crime Policy at CAP. “While strong gun laws are certainly not the only factor impacting levels of gun violence, it is undeniable that Americans in states with stronger gun laws are safer from gun violence than those in states with weaker laws. Lawmakers in Delaware should strongly consider strengthening gun laws in order to reduce gun deaths and make all of Delaware’s communities safer.”

The report looks at 10 critical indicators of gun violence in the United States, including overall gun deaths; gun suicides, homicides and accidents; mass shootings; intimate partner gun homicides of women; gun deaths of people younger than age 21; law enforcement feloniously killed with a gun; fatal shootings by police; and the rate at which crime guns are exported. By comparing the data from all 50 states to the corresponding grade from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s “2015 State Law Scorecard”—which rates the strength of state gun laws—the report found a striking correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and the rates of gun violence in that state.

“From impeding illegal straw purchases to closing the gun show and Charleston loopholes to getting guns out of the hands of dangerous domestic abusers, Delaware has made a lot of progress in recent years,” said Delaware Senate Majority Whip Margaret Rose Henry (D). “But this report underscores the significance of the work that remains, particularly in the areas of suicide prevention and curbing gun violence in our largest cities.”

“This reminds us that for every gun-related killing that makes headlines in Delaware, there’s a another quiet tragedy unfolding somewhere in our state that won’t make the news, but is no less devastating to the family of the deceased and our community as a whole,” said Erik Raser-Schramm, executive director, Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence. “Gun-related suicides occur almost every week in Delaware. We have the opportunities to reduce all gun violence in our community, but only if we have everyone at the table—health care professionals, law enforcement, legislators and social services—working together with common purpose. That is the conversation we’re dedicated to advancing, and this report reminds us of how much work we have to do.”

Click here to read the report.

View an interactive map.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at [email protected] or 202.481.7141.

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