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Brady Campaign Gives 48 States “Failing Scores” on Gun Control,<BR>Though Violent Crime is at an Historic Low

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Every year since 1997, Brady Campaign has pretended to “grade” the states, with states that have the least gun control getting the fewest points, based upon Brady’s presumption that less gun control means more crime. It released its 2007 “State Report Cards” in January 2008. Because most states do not have the laws Brady considers essential, and some have none, Brady gives most states “failing scores.” This year, out of a possible 100 Brady points, 42 states got 28 or fewer points, six got 43-54, one got 63, and one got 79. “Our gun laws are so weak,” Brady’s president lamented.

Nevertheless, violent crime is at an “historic low,” according to the Department of Justice.* Since 1991, total violent crime is down 38%, murder is down 42%, rape is down 27%, robbery is down 45%, and aggravated assault is down 34%. During 2004-2006, violent crime was lower than anytime since 1974. For the last eight years, the murder rate has been lower than anytime since 1965. Preliminary data from the FBI indicate that violent crime declined again in 2007.

In 2007, Brady would have given a state 100 points if it had limited the frequency of gun purchases, prohibited private gun sales, required gun show customers to sign ledgers handed over to the police, prohibited the sale of guns that do not engrave a serial number on fired ammunition and require registration of such guns’ purchasers, licensed and regulated gun dealers at the state level, prohibited handguns that do not have “smart” gun features, prohibited detachable-magazine semi-automatics and some pump-action rifles and shotguns, allowed the arbitrary rejection of Right-to-Carry permit applications, allowed local jurisdictions to impose gun laws more restrictive than the legislature, and allowed the criminal prosecution of people who use guns for protection. However:

· California, the state that Brady gave its highest score (79), has total violent crime and murder rates 14% and 23% higher than the rest of the country, respectively. Brady didn’t score D.C., which has even more gun control and higher crime rates than California.

· Of the 38 states Brady gave 20 or fewer points, most have total violent crime, murder and robbery rates that are below the national rates.

· States that have total violent crime, murder and robbery rates that are below the national rates got an average of 19, 19 and 14 Brady points, respectively.

· The 10 states with the lowest total violent crime, murder and robbery rates got an average of 12, 12 and 9 Brady points, respectively.

* Dan Eggen, “Violent Crime Down In First Half of 2007,” Washington Post, Jan. 7, 2008.

Brady’s state “ranks” and “scores” are shown alongside the states’ 2006 violent crime rates, as published by the FBI.

Brady state scores and violent crime rates 2006

Source of crime data: FBI

Sorted by Brady rank/score

Total

Brady

Brady

violent

Aggravated

"Rank"

"Score"

crime

Murder

Rape

Robbery

assault

No "rank"

District of Columbia

No "score"

1,508.4

29.1

31.8

658.4

789.1

1

California

79

532.5

6.8

25.3

194.7

305.7

2

New Jersey

63

351.6

4.9

14.2

153.1

179.4

3

Connecticut

54

280.8

3.1

18.1

121.0

138.6

3

Massachusetts

54

447.0

2.9

27.1

125.0

292.1

5

Maryland

53

678.6

9.7

21.0

256.0

392.0

6

New York

51

434.9

4.8

16.4

178.6

235.1

7

Rhode Island

47

227.5

2.6

26.7

68.8

129.4

8

Hawaii

43

281.2

1.6

27.6

88.9

163.0

9

Illinois

28

541.6

6.1

31.8

185.3

318.4

10

Pennsylvania

26

439.4

5.9

27.3

168.6

237.6

11

Delaware

22

681.6

4.9

46.9

203.3

426.5

11

Michigan

22

562.4

7.1

52.2

140.7

362.4

13

North Carolina

20

475.6

6.1

28.2

152.2

289.1

14

Oregon

18

280.3

2.3

32.3

72.7

173.0

14

Virginia

18

282.2

5.2

23.4

101.4

152.1

14

Washington

18

345.9

3.0

42.9

100.1

199.8

17

Colorado

16

391.6

3.3

43.7

80.7

264.0

17

Iowa

16

283.5

1.8

27.8

43.5

210.4

19

Alabama

15

425.2

8.3

35.9

153.5

227.6

20

Ohio

13

350.3

4.7

39.6

166.8

139.2

21

Maine

12

115.5

1.7

25.7

29.1

59.0

21

Wisconsin

12

284.0

3.0

20.4

100.2

160.6

23

Minnesota

11

312.0

2.4

31.8

105.1

172.6

23

Nevada

11

741.6

9.0

43.2

281.6

407.8

23

New Hampshire

11

138.7

1.0

26.2

32.2

79.4

23

South Carolina

11

765.5

8.3

40.8

136.5

579.9

23

Wyoming

11

239.6

1.7

27.2

14.0

196.7

28

Nebraska

10

281.8

2.8

31.0

63.8

184.1

29

Georgia

9

471.0

6.4

23.2

165.6

275.8

29

Texas

9

516.3

5.9

35.6

158.5

316.4

29

Vermont

9

136.6

1.9

24.0

17.6

93.0

32

Florida

8

712.0

6.2

35.8

188.8

481.2

32

Indiana

8

314.8

5.8

29.1

114.7

165.2

32

Montana

8

253.7

1.8

28.5

17.4

206.1

35

Kansas

7

425.0

4.6

44.8

67.9

307.7

35

Tennessee

7

760.2

6.8

35.5

184.3

533.7

37

Arizona

6

501.4

7.5

31.5

149.6

312.7

37

Arkansas

6

551.6

7.3

46.5

98.4

399.4

37

Idaho

6

247.2

2.5

40.0

20.5

184.2

37

New Mexico

6

643.2

6.8

56.0

107.7

472.8

37

South Dakota

6

171.4

1.2

43.0

15.2

112.0

37

West Virginia

6

279.7

4.1

21.4

46.9

207.3

43

Mississippi

5

298.6

7.7

34.4

107.1

149.5

44

Alaska

4

688.0

5.4

76.0

90.3

516.4

44

Louisiana

4

697.8

12.4

36.4

133.6

515.4

44

Missouri

4

545.6

6.3

30.2

129.9

379.3

44

North Dakota

4

127.9

1.3

30.4

11.3

84.9

44

Utah

4

224.4

1.8

34.1

48.8

139.7

49

Kentucky

2

263.0

4.0

30.8

86.2

142.0

49

Oklahoma

2

497.4

5.8

41.6

87.5

362.5

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