Gun Laws Matter: A Comparison of State Firearms Laws and Statistics

Posted on July 1, 2010

Download a PDF of Gun Laws Matter

July 14, 2010 – The Law Center is pleased to present Gun Laws Matter: A Comparison of State Firearms Laws and Statistics, a brochure that analyzes and compares firearms laws and statistics in all 50 states. States were ranked from 1 to 50 based on 25 different policy areas. The brochure provides a map that displays each state’s rank and whether the state’s gun death rate is above or below the national average. The brochure explains that many of the states with the strongest gun laws also have the lowest gun death rates and vice versa. For example, the 10 states with the strongest gun laws are California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island and Florida. More than half of these states are in the bottom ten states for gun death rates. The brochure also lists the ten best and worst states for rates of gun deaths, gun ownership and crime gun exports (in addition to gun laws); best and worst practices and which states have implemented them; and details the laws in the state with the strongest gun laws (California), and the weakest (Arizona). 

  • Click here for the complete state law ranking system, our methodology, and descriptions of the 25 policies analyzed.
  • Click here for a chart listing each state’s ranking and rates of gun deaths, gun ownership and crime gun exports.

Gun Laws Matter is a publication from Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a public interest law center dedicated to preventing gun violence. Other of our publications include:

Supplemental  Materials on State Firearms Laws

State firearms law summaries for all fifty states on a wide range of policy topics

Developments in state firearms legislation

Policy summaries with background information and summaries of federal, state and selected local laws on over 35 policy approaches