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Click here for the 2009 state rankings from The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. California tops the table, with Utah coming dead last (with nul points, as the Eurovision judges would say). “Most states, unfortunately, are doing very little to protect citizens from gun violence. Most states are allowing dangerous people to have easy access to guns,” the President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said in the press release. Paul Helmke [above] reckons “Few states have laws addressing the critical issue of gun trafficking such as requiring background checks on all gun purchases at gun shows. The Brady Campaign is advocating for legislation to close the gun show loophole at the national level.” Yes, OK, so how did they rate the states anyway?

You can dowload the full scorecard here, which lists all the points awarded (or not) to each state. If you can’t be bothered, here are all the the categories rated by 2009 Brady Campaign State Scorecard:

  • States can earn up to 35 points by taking steps needed to “Curb Firearms Trafficking.”  States can fully regulate the gun dealers within its borders, limit bulk purchases of handguns, provide police certain technology to identify crime guns, and require lost or stolen guns to be reported to the police.
  • States can earn up to 27 points by “Strengthening Brady Background Checks.”  This involves requiring universal background checks and requiring a comprehensive permit in order to purchase firearms.  Short of universal background checks, states can also close the gun show loophole, at least requiring background checks for all gun show sales.
  • States can earn up to 20 points by “Protecting Child Safety” when it comes to guns.  States can require that only childproof handguns be sold within their borders, require child safety locks sold with each weapon, hold adults accountable for keeping guns away from kids and teens, and require gun purchasers to be at least 21 years of age.
  • States can earn up to 10 points by “Banning Military-style Assault Weapons,” as well as banning high-capacity ammunition magazines.
  • States can earn up to eight points by restricting most “Guns In Public Places” to trained law enforcement and security and “Preserve Local Control” over municipal gun laws.  This includes keeping guns out of workplaces and college campuses, not forcing law enforcement to issue concealed handgun permits on demand and not preventing cities from passing their own gun laws.

By their own admission, the Brady bunch devised their rating system to reflect the standards advocated by the Legal Community Against Violence (LCAV) in their report “Regulating Guns in America. An Evaluation and Comparative Analysis of Federal, State and Selected Local Gun Laws.”

Who dat? The LCAV “informs the public about gun violence prevention through our publications, presentations, testimony and media advocacy. LCAV promotes effective, legally-defensible gun violence prevention policies using the legislative and regulatory processes, as well as the courts of law and public opinion.”

Oh and the organization is made up of supports lawyers who sue the gun industry for gun crimes. E.g., The City of New York v. Beretta U.S.A. Corp., 524 F.3d 384 (2d Cir. 2008) [view LCAV amicus brief here].

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  1. Wow!!! My home state garnered a whole whopping 4 points!!!! Arkansas must be doing it right if the Brady Bunch gave us that low of a score!!!!!
    Damn proud of it too!!!!!


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