According to a new report from the Violence Policy Center, Louisiana once again leads the nation in gun-related deaths. The report states that Louisiana's gun-related death rate nearly doubles the US average.
Executive Director Josh Sugarmann says weak gun laws and high gun ownership rates are contributing factors for the top 5 states.
"And those states basically just have whatever the requirements are under federal law. They don't have their own restrictions or standards as far as gun ownership and use."
The report used data from 2011, the most recent year such data is available. Louisiana is followed by Mississippi, Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana on the list. Sugarmann says there is much that could be done to protect the citizens of these states, like background checks for all gun sales and stopping the sale of assault weapons.
"There are a wide range of proven, effective gun violence prevention measures that could be put in place to reduce the toll of death and injury in these states."
The figures show that nearly 19 out of every 100,000 Louisiana citizens died by gunfire in 2011. Sugarmann says when talking to people fighting against gun restrictions he often hears the same argument.
"They say 'We know guns. We respect guns. We don't have a gun problem.' In Louisiana, they know guns, they respect guns, but they do have a gun problem. In fact, it's the worst in the nation."