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States with tough gun laws have fewer shooting deaths: study

BY GLENN BLAIN , CELESTE KATZ NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 2:17 PM

A critique of these ideas is presented here (debunking)
Another critique appears here: National Journal "Study" Promoting Gun Control: "F" Stands for Fail

Andy Parker, father of slain journalist Alison Parker, talks gun control NY Daily News

The harder states make it to get guns - like New York - the fewer people die because of them, a new analysis of firearm restrictions shows.

New York State, with its relatively strict laws - restrictions that are even tougher in the five boroughs - had 4.2 gun deaths per capita in 2013, (Ed: I think they mean per 100,000 people) the third-fewest number of gun-related deaths nationwide, according to the National Journal's study released Monday.

It examined gun-related deaths of all types - from murders to suicides and accidental shootings - in the year 2013 and found "while it's certainly true that a number of factors contribute to the high rates of gun violence in the U.S., a comparison of state laws versus rates of shooting deaths does show a correlation."

Hawaii had the lowest number of gun-linked deaths - 2.5 per 100,000 people - in the country in 2013, said the National Journal, a public policy magazine and website.

The Aloha State also places serious restrictions on gun buyers and owners: Permits are required to purchase handguns, as are background checks and a 14-day waiting period. In Hawaii, it is also relatively difficult to get either a concealed- or open-carry permit, according to the study.

The reverse of all that is generally true of Alaska, which had the highest rate of gun deaths: 19.8 per 100,000 people in 2013. Alaska doesn't require permits or background checks to buy or carry guns, and there is no waiting period to obtain a firearm.

That same year in Virginia, where gun laws are less restrictive - and where TV news reporter Alison Parker and videographer Adam Ward were gunned down while live on air by a deranged ex-colleague last week - there were 10.2 gun deaths per capita, making it the state with the 19th-fewest gun-related deaths.

States with strict gun laws were found to have a low-number of gun-related deaths, a new study found.
TOM PENNINGTON/GETTY IMAGES States with strict gun laws were found to have a low-number of gun-related deaths, a new study found.

Advocates of stronger gun regulations and supporters of Second Amendment gun ownership rights clashed over the study's significance.

Gov. Cuomo, who pushed hard to make New York the first state to strengthen its gun laws after the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre, hailed the study, saying it "further illustrates that common-sense gun laws work.

"It is possible to pass protections to combat senseless gun violence and prevent needless bloodshed, while also respecting Second Amendment rights," Cuomo told the Daily News on Monday.

"We did it in New York, and it's well past time for Washington to do the same."

Some of National Journal's findings aligned with research conducted by the nonprofit group Everytown for Gun Safety, which shows states with background checks have fewer gun-related domestic violence murders, homicides of law enforcement officials and suicides.

"Lives are on the line, and we need both Congress and state political leaders across the country to fix the lax gun laws that are contributing to the gun violence that we see every day," Everytown's Erika Soto Lamb said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed for tougher gun laws after the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.
JENNIFER MITCHELL FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed for tougher gun laws after the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

The National Rifle Association said it had not examined the study and would not comment.

Alan Gottlieb of the Washington State-based Second Amendment Foundation said politicians often cry out for tougher gun regulations in the wake of heinous murders, such as the killings in Virginia or in a church in Charleston, S.C.

But "I don't know of a proposal that anyone has on the table that would have prevented any of these tragedies," he said.

Gottlieb said law-abiding gun owners are the ones who feel targeted by - and yet obey - stronger regulations, not crooks.

"Criminals don't obey laws. That's why they're known as criminals," he said.