A report released April 2, 2013 by the Center for American Progress found that states with the highest rates of gun violence have the weakest gun laws. The findings reinforce those of previous studies, said Deborah Azrael, director of research at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.
Alaska ranked first in gun deaths — 20.28 deaths per 100,000 people in 2010, according to the report. That state, and seven others ranking highest in gun violence, were among those found to have the weakest state regulations on gun ownership. Hawaii has the lowest rates of gun violence in the nation, according to the report.
While Azrael called the report a “useful collection of data” in a New York Times article, she said that different factors drive gun violence from state to state. Understanding “household decision making about guns and how people weigh the costs and benefits of guns” should be part of the conversation on regulating guns, she said.