FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE • December 9, 2013 • media [at] bradynetwork [dot] org
2013 State Scorecard Released by the Law Center and Brady Campaign
Washington, DC -- Eight states (CA, CO, CT, DE, IL, MD NJ, NY) have enacted major gun reforms to reduce gun violence since the tragic events in Newtown Connecticut, according to a new state analysis by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
The “2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter,” released today ranks 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.
States received points for having effective laws in each policy area, with stronger laws receiving more points. A letter grade (A to F) indicates the overall strength or weakness of a state's gun laws.
California received an A- and continues to top the list of states with the strongest gun reform measures in the country. Year-over-year, Connecticut jumped from ranking 4th to 2nd and is joined by New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and Maryland at the top of the list of states with strong gun laws, all of which also passed live-saving gun legislation in 2013. States ranking at the bottom with the weakest gun laws include Arizona, Alaska, Wyoming, and South Dakota – many of which also have some of the highest gun death rates in the country.
“Listening to the more than one million Brady supporters and the overwhelming will of the American people, states have clearly led where Congress has failed, and passed gun measures that will save lives, ” said Dan Gross, President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “States with expanded Brady background checks have seen 38% fewer women killed by their husband or intimate partner," said Gross. “But to make this the truly safer nation we all want, we need the same laws on a federal level. It’s time Congress follow the states’ initiative and finish the job to extend Brady background checks to all gun sales, including gun show and sales on the Internet.”
“There is no doubt that gun laws matter to the safety of our communities,” said Robyn Thomas, Executive Director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Our new research shows how smart gun laws can play a significant role in protecting citizens from gun violence. The Law Center has spent the last twenty years providing in-depth legal assistance and research on our nation’s gun laws to states in their fight to protect their communities from gun violence, and after a tragedy as horrific as Newtown, we are proud to see the states taking huge strides to keep guns out of the wrong hands.”
In a year marked with significant progress in the states for gun violence prevention, six states’ grades improved significantly compared to the Law Center’s 2012 publication Gun Laws Matter. Since the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Law Center has provided legal assistance to thirty states in their efforts to improve their gun laws. In 2013, four states approved provisions requiring owners to report lost or stolen firearms to police, while three states enacted laws aimed at strengthening record-keeping and background check requirements for ammunition sales. In all, twenty-one states enacted laws to strengthen their regulations on guns.
This collaborative report empowers advocates by putting the Law Center’s in-depth research on America’s gun laws into the hands of the Brady Campaign’s extensive network, so they can continue to fight for effective gun policies in communities across the country.
For more information about the scores nationwide, please visit the scorecards at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence at Brady and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence http://bit.ly/GunLawsScorecard
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