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Nearly 300,000 lives could be saved in the next decade if states followed California’s example on gun laws, study says

SACRAMENTO – A new study from leading gun safety group Everytown USA confirms what we’ve known: California’s gun laws save lives.

In fact, if all states followed our policy lead and matched our gun death rate, Everytown estimates that nearly 300,000 lives could be saved over the next 10 years.


By Emma Tucker and Omar Jimenez

Nearly 300,000 lives could be saved from the nation’s wave of gun violence over the next decade if every US state enacted gun control laws like those held by states such as California and New York, according to a new study announced Friday by a gun violence prevention non-profit group.

It’s the first estimate that offers a glimpse of the potential life-saving impact of stronger gun laws throughout a nation with significant variation in firearm laws from state-to-state, experts tell CNN.

The study by Everytown for Gun Safetyrevealed new rankings for the 50 states based on the strength of their gun laws in 2023 compared to their gun death rates, putting California and New York at the top of the list for gun safety. Arkansas is ranked last in the nation due to the weakness of its gun laws and high rate of gun deaths, the analysis shows.

New York and California are considered “national leaders” in the report, holding some of the lowest gun death rates in the country – 5.3 and 8.7, respectively, per 100,000 residents – despite being home to the two largest US cities. Arkansas, which has roughly one-sixth of the New York state population, has a gun violence rate of 22.1 per 100,000 residents, the study shows.

Everytown designated five foundational laws that they say have proven to be the most effective in lowering gun violence rates – all of which are in effect in New York and California. They include requirements for a background check and/or permits to purchase firearms; a permit to carry concealed guns in public; the secure storage of firearms; the rejection of ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws; and the enactment of ‘extreme risk’ laws that temporarily remove a person’s access to firearms when there is evidence that they pose a serious risk to themselves or others.


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