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Wyoming Gun Laws and How They Compare Nationally

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USA map with flag and Wyoming State Seal. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Friday, 26 Dec 2014 03:51 PM

As compared to the rest of the nation, Wyoming is known for its lax gun laws. The state does not require a background check, the registering of firearms, or impose a waiting period prior to the purchase of a firearm.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Wyoming ranked fourth on a list of states with the highest overall gun death rates, according to a report from the Casper Star Tribune.

According to the report, the Violence Policy Center analyzed the data and found that states with weak gun violence prevention laws along with high rates of gun ownership have the highest overall gun death rates. The study, based on data from 2011, ranked Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana as states with the highest rates.

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Advocates for gun laws argue that restrictions prevent actions such as suicides, gun trafficking, and domestic violence.

“Lawmakers in every state should roll up their sleeves and pass stronger legislation to prevent needless deaths from gun violence,” said Sue Hornik, executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence, in the article. “The safety of our families and communities is at stake.”

The Daily Beast reports that Wyoming ranked No. 10 on the list of the country’s highest gun-related deaths. For the number of gun deaths per 100,000, the state weighted in at 14.5. The other nine were, from 1-9: Mississippi, Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Alabama, Nevada, and Montana. The Daily Beast also reported that Wyoming ranked No. 8 out of the 50 states for permissive gun laws.

For its methodology, the news site looked at the number of gun deaths per capita in each state, using the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Legal Community Against Violence.

"I am generally skeptical of gun laws," said Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, in the piece.

"The theory is that gun laws may prevent crimes of passion—domestic crimes, altercations over traffic incidents, or committed by someone who is otherwise law-abiding but has an anger problem… gun-control laws can potentially do something, but the kind of crime by which they can do the least is a mass shooting."

"My own belief is that laws are a way of showing that you're doing something, and some of them are actually counterproductive," said John R. Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime."

"You have to ask yourself 'who's most likely to disarm?' The most law-abiding citizens. If you disarm the most law-abiding citizens, you see increases in violence relative to the dropping gun ownership."

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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As compared to the rest of the nation, Wyoming is known for its lax gun laws. The state does not require a background check, the registering of firearms, or impose a waiting period prior to the purchase of a firearm.
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Friday, 26 Dec 2014 03:51 PM
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