NYS image blueNew York State’s gun death rate declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2013, and the state now has the third lowest gun death rate in the country, according to a new report by the  Violence Policy Center (VPC). 

New York’s gun death rate is 4.39 per 100,000 people–down from 4.99 in 2012–is less than half the nation’s average of 10.64.

The VPC’s analysis (of data from the CDC) shows that states like New York with strong gun violence prevention laws and lower rates of gun ownership have the country’s lowest overall gun death rates. Conversely,  states with high rates of gun ownership and  weak gun violence prevention laws have the highest overall gun death rates. (See table below.)

NY SAFE Act Enacted in 2013NY_SAFE_Act_logo small

“The improvement in New York’s gun death rate shows that our strong gun safety laws are saving lives by making our communities safer,” said Leah Gunn Barrett, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV). In 2013, New York was the first state to strengthen its gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December 2012. A bipartisan legislature enacted and Governor Cuomo signed the NY SAFE Act on January 15, 2013.

With the NY SAFE Act, New York requires such common sense measures as background checks on all gun and ammunition sales, a ban on military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines, five year recertification of gun permits, and enhanced protections for victims of domestic violence.

States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates
Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate per 100,000
50 Hawaii 9.7 percent 2.71
49 Massachusetts 12.8 percent 3.18
48 New York 18.1 percent 4.39
47 Connecticut 16.2 percent 4.48
46 Rhode Island 13.3 percent 5.33


States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates
Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate per 100,000
1 Alaska 60.6 percent 19.59
2 Louisiana 45.6 percent 19.15
3 Alabama 57.2 percent 17.79
4 Mississippi 54.3 percent 17.55
5 Wyoming 62.8 percent 17.51


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