Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Louisiana Has the Worst Rate of Gun Violence in the Country, According to a New CAP State-by-State Analysis
Press Release

RELEASE: Louisiana Has the Worst Rate of Gun Violence in the Country, According to a New CAP State-by-State Analysis

New Ad and Additional Research From Mayors Against Illegal Guns Connects How Weak Gun Laws Turn Domestic Abuse Into Murder

Read the full report here.

Read the fact sheet on Louisiana gun violence here.

Washington, D.C. — Louisiana has the worst rate of gun violence in the country, according to a new state-by-state analysis of gun violence released today by the Center for American Progress.

The report, released at an event in Baton Rouge and a series of public events across the nation, examines how each of the 50 states fare across 10 key gun-violence indicators such as firearm deaths among children, firearm homicides among women, and law-enforcement agents feloniously killed with a firearm, among others. The analysis ranks each state according to the rate of each indicator of gun violence. These rankings are then compiled to create an overall aggregate ranking of the states across all 10 indicators.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns also released research on the connection between gun violence and women and is airing a new ad featuring Elvin Daniel, a gun owner and NRA member whose sister Zina was murdered in a Brookfield, Wisconsin, spa shooting by her estranged husband, a prohibited purchaser, who was able to buy a gun without a background check. The ad can be seen here:

The CAP analysis finds that Louisiana:

  • Has the highest rate of gun violence of any state in the country across 10 measures
  • Had the highest rate of women murdered by guns in the 10-year period from 2001 through 2010

When the overall state ranking for the prevalence of gun violence is compared with a November 2012 Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence ranking of states based on the strength of their gun laws, the comparison reveals a significant correlation between high rates of gun violence and weak state gun laws. Key findings from the national comparison include:

  • Louisiana exemplifies this trend by having the highest rate of overall gun violence and the fifth-weakest gun laws in the country, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
  • The 10 states with the weakest gun laws collectively have a level of gun violence that is more than twice as high—104 percent higher—than the 10 states with the strongest gun laws.
  • Of the 10 states with the strongest gun laws, nine are among the 25 states with the lowest levels of gun violence, including 6 of the 10 with the very lowest levels.

Additional research released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns on the connection between guns and violence against women highlights that women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered by guns than women in other high-income countries. The coalition noted that over the past 25 years, more intimate-partner homicides in the United States have been committed with guns than with all other weapons combined, and that the presence of a gun in domestic-violence situations increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent. The organization also found that in states that require a background check for every handgun sale, 38 percent fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners.

Read the Mayors Against Illegal Guns fact sheet on Gun Laws and Violence Against Women here.

To highlight the CAP report and Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ ad and research, CAP Action principals are leading events in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Reno, South Bend, Tucson, and outside Philadelphia to discuss the report’s findings while standing alongside survivors of gun violence, mayors, law-enforcement officials, faith leaders, and students who will talk about why preventing future gun violence is important to their communities.

Read the full report: America Under the Gun: A 50 State Analysis of Gun Violence and Its Link to Weak State Gun Laws” by Arkadi Gerney, Chelsea Parsons, and Charles Posner

Related resources:

To speak with a CAP expert on this topic, contact Katie Peters at [email protected] or 202.741.6285.

For more information from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, please contact Erika Soto Lamb at [email protected] or 646.580.5281.