Everytown’s Analysis Shows That 298,000 Lives Could Be Saved Over the Next Decade if Every State Saw the Same Gun Violence Rates as the Nation’s Leading Eight States in Gun Safety Policies
Minnesota and Michigan, Two States With Newly Elected Gun-Sense Trifectas, Saw Some of the Greatest Increases in Their Gun Law Rankings
NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety today launched the updated “Gun Law Rankings” for 2024, an online tool and website that ranks all 50 states based on the strength of their gun laws and catalogs gun safety laws state by state. The site shows the direct correlation between a state’s gun laws and their rate of gun deaths. For the first time, Everytown’s Gun Law Rankings also shows whether states’ rankings increased or decreased over the past year, reflecting progress made by passing common-sense gun safety policies or setbacks as a result of enacting dangerous measures backed by the gun lobby.
For 2024, several states saw their rankings improve or decline, including states like Michigan that saw their rank improve by four, thanks to the enactment of life-saving legislation to strengthen background checks, enact an Extreme Risk law and a secure storage law, and protect victims of domestic violence from gun violence, and states like Florida, whose rank fell by three after enacting dangerous permitless carry legislation.
In addition to the release of their 2024 gun law rankings, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund today also released new research showing that 298,000 lives could be saved over the next decade if every state in the country had the gun death rates of the eight states with the strongest gun safety laws, designated by Everytown as “National Leaders.”
“Gun laws save lives and once again, Everytown has the receipts to prove it,” said Nick Suplina, Senior Vice President for Law and Policy at Everytown for Gun Safety. “Legislators have a roadmap to keep their communities safe from gun violence, but it’s up to them to put these critical policies in place. While states at the top of Everytown’s list are taking significant action to prevent gun violence, gun lobby-backed legislators continue to play politics with our lives and the consequences are deadly.”
“We can turn the tide on our gun violence crisis, but only if our leaders step up to enact common-sense gun safety measures across the country and defy the wishes of the gun lobby,” said Monisha Henley, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety. “When legislators stop cowering to extremists and start taking action to prevent gun violence, our communities feel the impact. Nowhere has this been more clear than in Michigan and Minnesota, two states with gun-sense trifectas who took swift action to pass life-saving legislation and in turn, saw some of the greatest increases in their state gun law rankings.”
Highlights from 2024 Gun Law Rankings:
- Michigan’s 2024 gun law ranking improved from 24th to 20th thanks to the passage of comprehensive gun safety policies, including the enactment of legislation to strengthen background checks, implement an Extreme Risk law, require the secure storage of firearms, and to prohibit convicted domestic abusers from having guns.
- Minnesota, Illinois and Vermont all saw their 2024 rankings improve due to the passage of gun safety policies including a background check and an Extreme Risk law in Minnesota, an assault weapons ban in Illinois, and secure storage and waiting period laws in Vermont.
- Florida’s 2024 gun law ranking worsened from 19th to 22nd due to the passage of dangerous legislation to allow permitless carry, which allows people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public without a permit, criminal history check, or safety training.
- Florida was joined in its declining ranking by Nebraska, which passed permitless carry legislation; North Carolina, which repealed its long-standing background check requirement; and Arkansas, which passed legislation to allow guns in K12 schools.
- Arkansas, last ranked 49th due to the weakness of its gun laws, now ranks 50th in the nation.
- In 2023, Illinois ranked 7th in the nation for the strength of its gun laws, but thanks to the passage of historic and comprehensive gun safety legislation this year, Illinois now ranks 3rd, moving up four spots.
The 2024 Gun Law Rankings is a project of the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. Everytown’s analysis shows that states with strong gun safety policies, such as background checks on all gun sales and Extreme Risk laws, also known as Red Flag laws, not only see higher ranks for the strength of their gun laws, but also see lower rates of gun violence. Meanwhile, states with weaker gun laws, like permitless carry and Shoot First laws, see higher rates of gun violence.
Everytown’s Gun Law Rankings include:
- *NEW* Rankings showing whether a state’s ranking increased or fell since the beginning of 2023, reflecting action on gun safety policies across the country;
- A unique ranking system that ranks all 50 states based on the strength of their gun laws, looking across 50 different gun policies – from California at number one to Arkansas at the very bottom;
- A U.S. map for each gun safety policy indicating which states have adopted that policy; and
- Side-by-side comparisons that provide analysis across policies for all states and across states for all policies.
Everytown’s analysis of 2023 gun laws is just one example of how Everytown is utilizing research to showcase the importance of comprehensive gun safety laws. In September, Everytown released first-of-its-kind research analyzing suicide rates against state gun laws spanning multiple decades. The report shows that from 1999 to 2022, rates of firearm suicide have gone down in the states with the strongest gun violence prevention policies. Meanwhile, firearm suicide rates have gone up 39% among states designated as “national failures” on gun safety policy. Over this same period, there has been little to no difference in rates of suicides by other means in either states with weak or strong gun laws, inherently challenging the notion that individuals intent on attempting suicide will find a way, with or without a gun – a relentless and inaccurate myth spread by the gun lobby.
To speak with an expert about Everytown’s gun law rankings, please contact [email protected]