Washington, D.C. — A new Center for American Progress report released yesterday has found a strong correlation between the relative weakness of a state’s gun laws and the level of gun violence in the state. Tennessee ranks 13th among the 50 states for the rate of gun violence with a gun violence index of 49. The Center for American Progress has also published an interactive map that links to state specific fact sheets showing how Tennessee ranked in each of 10 specific indicators of gun violence.
The report analyzes 10 specific indicators of gun violence in all 50 states and found that the 10 states with the weakest gun laws collectively have levels of gun violence that are more than three times higher than the 10 states with the strongest gun laws.
“There is an unquestionable link between the strength of Tennessee gun laws and its rate of gun violence,” said Chelsea Parsons, Vice President for Guns and Crime Policy at CAP. “While strong gun laws are certainly not the only factor impacting levels of gun violence, it is undeniable that Americans in states with stronger gun laws are safer from gun violence than those in states with weaker laws. Lawmakers in Tennessee should strongly consider strengthening gun laws in order to bring down the high rate of gun violence citizens in Tennessee are experiencing.”
“We should all be concerned by the gun violence here in Tennessee,” said Beth Joslin Roth, Policy Director for The Safe Tennessee Project. “Our state experiences gun violence at a much higher rate than other states in most every category. It only makes sense to look at the states with lower gun violence rates to see what they’re doing and replicate it here.”
The report looks at 10 critical indicators of gun violence in the United States, including overall gun deaths; gun suicides, homicides and accidents; mass shootings; intimate partner gun homicides of women; gun deaths of people younger than age 21; law enforcement feloniously killed with a gun; fatal shootings by police; and the rate at which crime guns are exported. By comparing the data from all 50 states to the corresponding grade from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s “2015 State Law Scorecard”—which rates the strength of state gun laws—the report found a striking correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and the rates of gun violence in that state.
Top 10 for Rate of Overall Gun Deaths, 2005-2014. The National average rate is 10.24 per every 100,000 people and Tennessee is at 15.08 and ranks 8th.
Top 15 for Gun Suicide, 2005-2014. National average is 5.99 per every 100,000 people. Tennessee is 9.01 and ranks 14th.
Top 10 for Gun Homicides, 2005-2014. National average is 3.85 per every 100,000 people. Tennessee is tied with Michigan at 5.22 and ranked 8th.
Top 5 for Fatal Gun Accidents, 2005-2014. National Average is 1.9 per every 100,000 people. Tennessee is at 5.3 and ranked 5th.
Top 25 for Mass Shootings, 2006-2014. National Average is 0.083 per every 100,000 people. Tennessee is at 0.079 and ranked 21st.
Top 5 for Intimate Partner Gun Homicides of Women, 2005-2014. National average is 3.71 per every one million women. Tennessee is at 6.07 and ranked 4th.
Top 15 for Gun Deaths Among People Aged Younger Than 21, 2005-2014. National average is 4.13 per every 100,000. Tennessee is at 5.15 and ranks 12th.