New York State’s gun death rate dipped to 4.99 per 100,000, according to a recent report by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) that analyzed 2012 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

New York again has the fourth lowest gun death rate in the nation, with its gun death rate declining by 4.13%, from 2011’s rate of 5.11.

“We’re very pleased to see a decline in New York’s gun death rate, and it shows that our strong gun laws work,” said Leah Gunn Barrett, NYAGV Executive Director.  “And with the 2013 passage of the New York SAFE Act–which will help keep more guns out of the wrong hands–we’re hopeful that New York’s ranking will improve even further.” Barrett added, “We will continue to advocate for measures to protect New Yorkers–such as Nicholas’s Law, which will require the safe storage of guns in the home to protect children.”

States with Strong Gun Laws and Less Guns Ranked the Safest

“Year after year, the pattern is the same,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “States that passed effective gun violence prevention laws and have low rates of gun ownership also have the lowest gun death rates in the nation. In states with easy access to guns and weak gun violence prevention laws, gun death rates are far above the national average.”

States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates

States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates

Rank

State

Household Gun Ownership

Gun Death Rate per 100,000

   Rank

State

Household Gun Ownership

Gun Death Rate per 100,000

1

Wyoming

62.8 percent

20.29

  50

Massachusetts

12.8 percent

3.51

2

Louisiana

45.6 percent

18.36

  49

Hawaii

9.7 percent

3.67

3

Alaska

60.6 percent

18.07

  48

Rhode Island

13.3 percent

4.00

4

Mississippi

54.3 percent

17.91

  47

New York

18.1 percent

4.99

5

Alabama

57.2 percent

17.25

  46

New Jersey

11.3 percent

5.01

 See the VPC’s full 50-state ranking.

Bad News on the National Front

Contrary to the good news for New York, the total number of Americans killed by gunfire rose 3.7% to 33,563 in 2012 from 32,351 in 2011. (That’s an additional 1,212 gun deaths!) “Congress continues to fail in protecting the safety of its citizens. How many American deaths will it take before Congress enacts strong federal gun laws?” asked Barrett.

The U.S.’s gun death rate is 10.69 per 100,000–as compared to 0.23 in the United Kingdom and .86 in Australia.