State gun laws fill enormous gaps that exist in our nation’s federal laws, and help to reduce gun violence and keep citizens safe. In part because these laws help to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and aid law enforcement in solving gun crimes, many of the states with the strongest gun laws also have the lowest gun death rates.
Because state laws differ widely, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence have teamed up to evaluate and compare the laws of all fifty states. Together, we have ranked all fifty states based on thirty policy approaches to regulating guns and ammunition, such as: background checks on gun sales; reporting lost or stolen firearms; and prohibiting dangerous people from purchasing weapons.
Note: Starting in 2014, the state scorecard is available at http://www.crimadvisor.com