Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New CAP Analysis Shows How Weak Gun Laws Are Driving Increases in Violent Crime
Press Release

RELEASE: New CAP Analysis Shows How Weak Gun Laws Are Driving Increases in Violent Crime

Washington, D.C. — The recent rise in violent crime has become a pressing issue—and one that data show is largely attributed to soaring rates of gun violence. Yet in recent years, MAGA extremists have weakened their states’ gun laws, flooding communities with firearms and putting children, families, and law enforcement at increased risk of violence. A new fact sheet released today by the Center for American Progress highlights key data that illustrate this alarming link between states’ actions to weaken their gun laws and rising violent crime rates, undermining the false narrative that criminal justice reforms are to blame.

“Voters are increasingly recognizing that gun violence is a serious problem in the United States and that weak gun laws are driving the rise in violent crime,” said Nick Wilson, senior director of Gun Violence Prevention at CAP and author of the fact sheet. “If elected officials are serious about reducing violent crime, strengthening gun violence prevention laws at both the state and federal levels must be at the top of their agendas.”

Several notable findings include:

  • States that received an “F” grade based on the strength of their gun laws—according to the latest scorecard from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence—saw the highest homicide rates.
  • In Missouri, the number of guns sold that were later recovered in connection with criminal investigations in the neighboring states of Iowa and Illinois rose by 37 percent following the repeal of its permit-to-purchase law in 2007.
  • Mississippi has the weakest gun laws in the country and the highest firearm death rate, at 28.6 per 100,000 people.
  • State laws requiring permits to purchase a gun are associated with a 60 percent lower chance of a mass public shooting occurring.

Click here to read: “Fact Sheet: Weak Gun Laws Are Driving Increases in Violent Crime” by Nick Wilson

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Tricia Woodcome at twoodcome@americanprogress.org