KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Those who want tougher gun laws have a new weapon to use in their legislative fight. A new study just published shows that states with tougher gun laws have a much lower rate of firearm related deaths.
The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine, and the lead author is a pediatric doctor in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School. He looked at firearm related deaths in all 50 states from 2007 to 2010.
Over those four years, there were more than 120,000 firearm fatalities nationwide. He then looked at the strength of firearm related laws in each state and concluded that those states with the toughest gun control laws had 42 percent fewer firearm related fatalities than in state’s with looser gun control laws.
Here’s where Kansas and Missouri fit in:
- In that four year period, there were 1150 firearm related fatalities in Kansas, or between 8 and 10 gun deaths per 100-thousand people.
- The number of firearm fatalities in Missouri during that time were nearly triple that between 10 to 13 gun deaths per 100,000 people.
Both states are tied for eighth for having some of the weakest gun laws in the nation.
One well-known victim of gun violence — former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords — recently spoke out about the need to pass tougher gun control laws.
“Be bold, be courageous, please support background checks,” she said.
Her husband, Capt. Mark Kelly has also taken a stance on the issue.
“This legislation could do a very commonsense thing to make it more difficult for criminals and the mentally ill to have access to a firearm.”
Giffords and her husband are gun owners and are calling for universal background checks for gun purchases.
The authors of the study acknowledge their findings only shows an association…and don’t necessarily prove that more laws on firearms translate into fewer deaths.