Gun control is one of the most widely debated topics in the United States. Although deadly mass shootings occur seemingly one after another, they represent only a small fraction of the total firearms-related deaths in the country. In 2017, nearly 40,000 people died due to injury to firearms, including the accidental or negligent discharge of a firearm, suicides, homicides, and others. The firearm death rate is calculated on the basis of firearm deaths per 100,000 persons. The firearm death rate of the United States was 12.0 in 2017. Over 30 states had firearm death rates higher than that of the US. The states with the highest firearm death rates are Alaska, Alabama, and Montana.
Highest Firearm Death Rates by State
At 24.5, Alaska had the highest firearm death rate of the 50 US states in 2017. Although Alaska had a population of only 739,795 people in 2017, there were 180 firearm related deaths in the state that year. The high firearm death rate is thought to be as a result of the lax gun laws in the state. Alaska does not require a state permit to purchase, does not have a firearm registration, and allows open and concealed carry without a permit.
Alabama had a firearm death rate of 22.9 in 2017 with firearm-related injuries accounting for 1,124 deaths in the state. Similar to Alaska, the state of Alabama was very few regulations concerning guns. Alabama does not require a state permit to purchase, does not have a firearm registration, and does not require a permit for open carry. The state does, however, require a permit for concealed carry of handguns and stipulates that open carry in a vehicle is prohibited without a concealed carry permit.
With a firearm death rate of 22.5 and 244 firearm-related deaths in the state in 2017, Montana had the third-highest firearm death rate of the 50 US states. Similar to Alabama, Montana does not require a state permit to purchase, does not have a firearm registration, and does not require a permit for open carry, but does require a permit for concealed carry.
Gun Related Deaths in the United States
Research by CBC News turned up shocking gun-related death statistics in relation to the United States. When compared to 22 other high-income countries, the United States accounts for 82% of all gun-related deaths although it has half the combined population. In addition, 91% of children under 14 killed by guns, 92% of people between the ages of 15 and 24 killed by guns, and 90% of all women killed by guns were in the United States.