A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine on Wednesday reports that states with stricter gun control laws have the fewest gun-related deaths, including both suicides and murders. The study is based off of data collected from all 50 states from 2007 to 2010. During the four years, the U.S. saw a total of 121,000 gun-related deaths.
The states were ranked in order of gun control strictness. States that scored above a nine, which is considered strong, had a lower rate of gun-related deaths compared to states with scores below two, which had weak gun control laws.
“In conclusion, we found an association between the legislative strength of a state’s firearm laws-as measured by a higher number of laws-and a lower rate of firearm fatalities,” said Dr. Eric Fleegler of Boston Children’s Hospital and colleagues in a JAMA press statement.
Hawaii, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts were among those states that had the most laws and the fewest deaths. States with the fewest laws and the most deaths included Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
Previous research on the effectiveness of stronger gun control laws has had mixed results and is a “very challenging” area of study, according to Dr. Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center For Gun Policy.