West Virginia Has More Gun Crime Than Most States
Study gives explanation for high numbers in the state.
A report by Center for American Progress has recently been announced. The report looked at 10 categories of gun violence. It found that West Virginia ranks among the top in several areas, including the export of guns later used in crimes, mass shootings, fatal gun accidents, gun-related suicides, police officers killed with a gun, fatal shootings by police, and gun-related murders of women by intimate partners. West Virginians are more likely than people in other states to use guns to kill wives and girlfriends, to kill people accidentally and to kill themselves, according to a new report released this week.
Sorry to our West Virginia friends. We’re not passing judgement, just reporting on the numbers that are out there. The study gave explanations for the high numbers in West Virginia and I’m wondering if people who live there agree with them.
The new report is a follow-up to a 2013 study by the same organization examining the connection between the strength or weakness of a state’s gun laws and rates of gun violence. West Virginia eliminated the concealed carry permit requirement this year.
The authors found that the 10 states with the weakest gun laws have an overall level of gun violence that is 3.2 times higher than the 10 states with the strongest gun laws. The “strength” or “weakness” of a state’s gun laws were determined by the “2015 Gun Law State Scorecard” prepared by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Among the study’s findings:
West Virginia had the highest rate of any state for the export of guns later used in crimes. With a rate of 52.1 per every 100,000 people, West Virginia had a rate of interstate crime gun trafficking that was 163 percent higher than the national average from 2010 to 2015.
West Virginia is considered a “source state” for surrounding states with more stringent gun laws, such as Maryland. Out-of-state drug dealers apparently use West Virginia guns as a source of currency.
West Virginia’s rate of fatal gun accidents ranked fourth in the country. That rate is 5.7 per 1 million people from 2005 to 2014, the second-highest rate in the country.