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Click here for the criteria used by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence’s 2013 State Scorecard. Basically, the Bradys awarded high marks to states that enacted the most draconian gun control laws; elevating Connecticut to number two. To establish their “highest gun death rate” they lumped-in firearms-related suicides with firearms-related accidents and homicides. (This accounts for the elevation of Western states which have relatively high suicide rate as a percentage of their total population.) As commentators have pointed out below, the only possible way to interpret the misinterpreted data is to consider an “F” a badge of honor. Freedom, if you will. And “A” as an assault on freedom. As a refugee from B- rated Rhode Island, as a freshly-minted resident of the F-rated Lone Star State, I couldn’t be happier with the results.

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    • In my book, that F stands for FREE! Glad my home is in F-rated Florida.
      Lock and load ’em if you got ’em.

      • I’m here on business in St. Louis for the first time this week. I’m walking around disarmed because it’s such a pain to travel by air with a firearm. But it’s good to know big MO gets a familiar F like back home in Houston. Makes me feel a little safer knowing so many good guys here are packing. This Brady group with their disarmament scale provides a nice little negative barometer of freedom and where it flourishes.

        • Can I ask why you think it’s a pain? Most of the airlines I travel treat it as routine at this point.

          The only reason it’s a pain for me is before I flew with guns everywhere I go, I prided myself on my ability to get to the airport with my carryon just in time to walk directly down the jetway and onto the plane. Now I have to show up early enough to check a bag. Also, I used to routinely fly through Atlanta on a sub-one-hour layover, but with a checked bag I don’t do less than 90 minutes, unless it’s earlier than 8 am.

        • Well, I prefer not to have to check baggage at all, if I can avoid it. There’e the whole check in and pick up steps, plus they charge extra for that. Then there’s the whole risk of passing through, perhaps unplanned, through hostile territory.

          I’ve been considering just overnighting a piece to myself in care of another in advance of trips, as I’ve seen ATF’s website describe, but I haven’t sorted out the logistics of that, yet.

          • Well, since so many airlines are now also charging for carryons, even the first one, that helped remove the “charge for that” obstacle for me. Once you start talking about overnighting something to yourself, that’s going to cost you as much or more than the checked bag fee, anyway.

            You’re right about the “drop off and pick up” steps it adds.

            Although there was one time where I had to take a slightly more expensive flight to ensure a friendly territory layover, I’ve been lucky enough so far that hostile territory hasn’t been my only choice, thus I haven’t had to choose between a hostile territory layover and taking my guns.

        • Matt,
          If people are having to adjust their flights to more expensive routes because of gun policies, is this not essentially an infringement? Not dissimilar to say, a poll tax. Or requiring persons of a certain persuasion to vote in another county.

          • Well, perhaps, but I’m talking about a $10 more expensive flight. And if that $10 upcharge is the first thing that told someone that New York City’s policies represent an infringement, they need to get out more.

    • Mine too! As far as I know, AZ has been getting a failing grade since Handgun Control Inc was still the name of the Brady Bunch. Couldn’t be more proud. I might get t-shirts made.

  1. MI is a C? about the only time I’ve been happy with a “failing grade” maybe we can shoot for a D or an F some day……. our gun laws have been getting LESS restrictive in the past few years, hope we can keep up the GOOD work!

  2. The MA gun control which was passed in 1998 has worked great. Murder rate has doubled since ’98 while the rest of the country it’s gone down a lot. Screw you brady group.

  3. Can someone explain the gun death rates for some of these states, because I’m pretty sure a ton of people die in Cali from guns all the time there.

    • I’d like to see the model for calculating gun deaths, as well. They seem to be very open about publishing their grading model, but there’s no sign of a death model. California, NY and NJ — are they really in the bottom states for violence?

      • Third requesting a definition for Gun Death Rate. I’m sure it’s the bullshitest way they could skew the raw data.

  4. Ok ,call me confused.

    Why is it that California has an A and New York State a B, even though NY has the SAFE act which bans 7+ round mags and forbids lawful ownership of 10+ magazines. CA also doesn’t have a separate, discretionary issue permit system for handguns like NYS.

    So, what gives? Is NY just not hip enough or what?

    • I suspect NY lost Brady Points because Brady figured most of the anti’s are concentrated in NYC. Only when upstate gives up hunting will Brady relent.

      As for CA, NJ, and NY, I suspect their sad folks prefer another form of suicide, most likely drug overdoses. Simple. Highly urbanized populations also have fewer gun deaths because shootees are generally closer to emergency rooms. Re-do the statistics counting shootings (not deaths) and the numbers would assuredly change.

  5. Im just delirious to live in an “F” rated state,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,thank you thank you Brady Bunch just keep showing the folk out there what a joke you all are.

  6. No F’ing way is this correct. Cali and NY are top 10 in lowest rates…Nevada is top 10in highest?

    • As noted in the summary, it’s including the suicides that skews the data. But they need to remove the suicide by gun deaths because those deaths were not caused by firearms, firearms were merely the method, and when removed suicides don’t stop, they just find another method. Australia proved this when they instituted their ban and confiscation in 97. Since the ban was enacted suicide by firearm practically vanished (as would be expected when most firearms are confiscated), but the total suicide rates didn’t drop one bit. They actually spiked for the two following years but if you remove those years as outliers the suicide rates remained on the exact gradually declining trend they’d been on for years and have continued on since then.

      So you have states with high levels of firearm ownership, and with firearms being a popular and effective tool for such, the firearm suicide numbers are substantially higher than the homicide and accidental deaths are. You go to states with few legal firearms and the suicide by firearm numbers are almost non-existent as are the accidental deaths, but the homicide rates are much higher.

      Example Utah, 2010 264 total firearm deaths, 34 of those were firearm homicides (that year Chicago had just over 500 firearm homicides). 20 were classified as justified defensive shootings, (a citizen shooting in self defense and ruled justified with no prosecution), justified police shootings, and accidental shootings all combined, leaving 210 suicides by firearm. Take away the firearms and most if not all those suicides would still happen. So Utah’s real firearm death-toll that year was 54 of of a population of about 2.6 million.

      Again that same year with a population of around 2.8 million but supposedly far fewer firearms, Chicago had 500 firearm homicides.

      That is why the numbers don’t match up. By not excluding suicides, it skews the data to the point of being worthless.

      • Yeah, WA got a ‘C’, too. Not sure why. Apparently there’s a law related to selling ammo if you’re an FFL that the Bradys give a bunch of points for in their scoring system.

        You don’t need a license to buy or possess ammo in WA, so I dunno why they think it’s a big deal.

  7. Based on the criteria, the chart has nothing to do with actual gun deaths, but is based exclusively on restrictive gun laws in effect in the states.

  8. Montana in the top 10 with highest gun murder rate? I call BS on that one.

    This is a great guide for choosing where you want to live. “A” means an assault on your Liberties. All the lefties and communists out there are free to choose from that side of the list. “F” is for Freedom…for all the red-blooded American patriots out there.

    Proud to have earned this “F”!

    • Not murder rate, gun deaths rate.
      The reason MT is ranked so high is there is a very high rate of suicide in MT. Especially among Native American populations. Its almost an epidemic here. Working in a correctional institution (as I do) gets you lots of learning on this subject.

  9. Since Illinois is not shown to be a high gun death rate state I can only conclude that Chicago is no longer in Ill.

    • Mike,

      I’m trying to figure that out, too. I’m rather surprised we scored as badly as a B, even with Chicago. While we’re not quite up to MO yet, I’d have thought we were more like a B. We’re certainly nowhere near as restricted as New York. And really, now that we’ve got CCW in Jan, I’ll (at least) be similar to MO, and actually be better off that a lot of St. Louis (where I work).

  10. SC got an F again this year, brings a tear to my eye. Never been happier to be from the South.

  11. California has an A- (the highest [sic] grade currently awarded).

    I shudder to think what would merit an A.

    • I feel the same way in NY… I guess if we were more like Jersey or MD where you can’t get a carry permit anywhere in the state (in NY you can do so in rural areas… rights void in NYC).

  12. Here I am with a happy face living in Kentucky and getting an “F”. Never been happy with an “F” before.

  13. Holy hell, look through the link to their ridiculous criteria. First of all, it gives a great (scary) view of their agenda. Second, it would be hilarious if these laws weren’t being passed:

    “Assault Weapons=3 (points): Laws that ban or regulate semi-automatic firearms designed with military features to allow rapid and accurate spray fire.”


  14. Is this for real ? I live in Mississippi and unless this chart is based on per capita deaths , then it is way off the mark ,plus the fact is I do not believe anything from any anti gun group as they have been proven to be inaccurate in the past . How is it that Illinois gets a B and they have more killings in Chicago than we have in our entire state ? My take on it is that which ever states have the most gun control get better marks than the states that have more individual liberty , even if the results are fabricated.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

    • I’m proud of what has happened in our state with regards to gun rights. With the enhanced carry permit system, the HB2 legislation clarifying open carry, and the recent AG opinions on same, we’re a darn sight closer to the mark than ever before.

      I too would love to see the statistics they are using to justify this.

    • It is per capita death rates. It isn’t murder rates, because those wouldn’t show the relationship they want. For that they need to include suicides, which tends to boost the numbers in areas that have large populations of poor peole or have large rural areas underserved by mental health care resources.

  15. I knew it since HS. Be suspect of graders and the grades they give. My GPA was a solid C, 2.2.
    My ACT composit score was 33, 99 Percentile nationally.
    When CA and NY are graded way above average, that is one hell of a curve. Curves often turn into a spiral.

  16. Funny to note that Maine, one of their “blue” states also gets an F. Bet that messess with their statistics a bunch!

    • NM is generally marginally blue. The way it is, the south is red, north blue – in general terms. But they still get Gary Johnson and Bill Richardson elected as consecutive governors. Some years to goes one way, some another. Kinda like Virginia.

  17. So, Maine gets an “F” for “lax” gun laws and yet they rank in the 10 states with the lowest “gun deaths” … whatever that means. Then we also have Iowa which gets a “C-” and also ranks in the 10 states with lowest “gun deaths”.

    What kind of moron asserts that “lax” gun laws cause high rates of “gun death” when Maine has both “lax” gun laws and a low “gun death” rate? That there is a special kind of stupid.

    People know better. And they don’t want to face attackers without any means to defend themselves or their family. That is why we the people of the U.S. summarily reject gun control and gun control advocates who want us to face attackers without any means to defend ourselves.

    • Most people will look at the picture but not look at the numbers, like us.
      They will eat the crap cookie without knowing it is a crap cookie.

    • “What kind of moron asserts that “lax” gun laws cause high rates of “gun death” when Maine has both “lax” gun laws and a low “gun death” rate? That there is a special kind of stupid.”
      Don’t forget that this organization was founded by someone whose brain was partially destroyed. That bestowed upon Jim Brady and his cohorts the astounding ability to create their very own private version of reality.

    • I think Iowa got a C- because we don’t allow those thingies that go on the end of the barrel, you know like what 007 uses. *sarcasm The last “mass” shooting we had here was a guy who was upset about his custody battle and decided to shoot his illegally aquired AR15 at a bunch of cars . Nicked one guy, expelled 100 rnds, and the cops shot him dead.

  18. Besides this being rather, well stupid…
    Here is my take away.
    I believe the gun death rate is per capita.
    The lowest being around 3 and highest around 20. CA is at 7+ and Illinois is higher, but that really isn’t reflective. We know Alaska, which is one of the highest suicide rates is 20. I am rounding numbers here.
    So we know, FACT, that suicide remains the same regardless of method. Australia proved this.
    Let’s dump that, then dump justifiable shootings, so DGU, or a cop ventilates a bad guy. I would think that the numbers in that area would change dramatically.
    Now where the scoring really comes from. It is all about laws. The more laws the better. This is why CA scored so high. We have microstamping, 50 cal ban, bullet button. The only thing we don’t have is a FOID, but we have DROS which is about the same.
    Someone needs to do a map like this but use real figures.

  19. Glad to see I live in an “F” state. We also finished 44th on the Brady list. We need to go for 50th.

  20. Can somebody with more skill than I have adjust this so instead of gun deaths it’s for gun homicides? I’m curious if the numbers change dramatically.

    • I pulled up FBI’s crime stats for 2012 and averaged the violent crime for the states in each letter grade. The states with letter grades higher than C have higher violent crime rates than states with letter grades below C. The states with grade of C were right in the middle. So pretty much what we’d all expect.

  21. Including DC would really screw the map up. Luckily it’s not a state, so they don’t have to include it. Otherwise it would stick out like a log floating in a punch bowl.

  22. Using their own criteria, the ranking isn’t right. The messed up on several states (“shoot first” stand your ground, exists in California, e.g.).

    It is also weighted funny. I mean California gets a 5 for its “may issue”CCW. But get -points for allowing CCW in bars. But actually, most sheriffs restrict you from that, but schools are fine, but they missed that. So I guess it blances out.

    But note the multiple points categories aren’t actually helpful. E.g., on background checks they give an 11, 6 or 3. Or on preemption (or rather lack thereof) a 0 4 or 6.

    When you get into the nitty gritty, the picture is very misleading. And they weigh things funny. And then grade it on a curve.

    E.g., even California gets only a 75 on their scale, but they weight it to 87, and call it an A-.

    If one weighted every aspect equally and did not grade on a curve, and got the laws more accurate, you would find that the matching of gun crime to their grades is even more complete BS. They essentially decided which states they wanted to have higher grades and manipulated accordingly

  23. I just added up Canada’s laws, and we only score 50/100 (I adjusted certain questions to meet our legislative environment). Keep that in mind when looking at various states.

      • When it comes to laws like the Firearms acts, it’s a Federal matter- provinces and cities don’t have authority beyond things like bylaws. Quebec is trying to keep a registry, and also attempting to control firearms with other laws (loi 9). This is being challenged in court at the moment. As far as I can tell they’ll lose- they’re overstepping the bounds of their authority.

        Quebec is a world unto itself, however.

  24. Utah sez suck it, Brady bunch! Whether it’s with a gun or a samurai sword, we take care of our own out heaw!

  25. It’s bizarro America ! I’d laugh except I’m in too much pain from trying to wrap my mind around how stupid these Brady Bunch folks are.

    • According to the article, they factor gun related suicides into the murder rate. Using such a view, they are able to declare that CA, IL, and NY have low gun crime rates. I’m just gonna go ahead and call epic BS on that. The major metro areas tend to have the lions share of gun crime as well as the most restrictive gun laws. With anti-gunners the ends justify the means, so even if the facts are completely wrong, it the (anti freedom) thought that counts.

  26. I can’t figure out why Washington State got a C. As far as I can tell, the gun laws there are less restrictive than the gun laws in Texas.

    • That’s what prompted my comment below. I wonder what they’re grading on. When it comes to concealed carry, WA stomps all over Texas — but there may be other things in play.

      • WA is also an open-carry state.

        Well, if they think we’re a C, maybe they’ll leave us the hell alone.

  27. By my count 25 states earned an F from the Brady campaign. Sounds like we’re winning the conflict right now to me.

  28. Dang, I can’t believe my state only got a C. I assumed we’d get a D, at least. Oh, well. At least we’re not among the A-holes.

  29. So PA gets a C yet I know that this state is very firearm friendly. Except for Philly and Pittsburgh.

    The Brady Bunch loves them some background checks though, that’s how PA is getting that lousy C grade instead of the coveted and desirable effing F. Six unwanted points because all new gun transactions and used pistol sales here require a PICS check.

  30. I really like this map! It makes it really easy when looking for states to move to once I can afford to get out of New York! 😀

  31. Ma Brady, I’ll take an F state. If you’re out, a D state. In fact, I’ve only lived in D and F states. What’s MY grade, Ma Brady?

  32. You know, if we don’t get our grades up we’re not going to get into our first choice and we’re going to have to go to our fallback school.

  33. Go to the link and see that there isn’t really a lot of correlation between their ‘grades’ and the gun murder rate. The gun murder rate is the only rate that should matter because there isn’t a law in the world that can do FA to stop gun suicide. It’s just as easy with a double barrel as it is with an AR. There ain’t nobody talking about getting rid of double barrel shotguns, not even Biden.

    • You are WRONG! “Mr. and Mrs. America, TURN ‘EM ALL IN!” – Dianne Feinstein

      They intend to get them all. Every one. That’s legally owned, that is.

    • What they “talk about”, and their actual intent, are two different things.

      Feinstein, a carry permit holder, intends to take ALL your guns by force, and has said so. She’ll still carry, along with other liberal elites. (Hillary Clinton’s first act when she carpet-bagged to New York was to get a carry permit.) But YOU don’t get to.

  34. FAIL = WIN ?
    I’m so confused. Actually, I’m disappointed my state only got a D. Although, considering a mere 3 years ago I lived in one of those asinine states who ranked an A-, I couldn’t be happier. Still work to be done.

  35. Funny how the F state of Vermont had THE LOWEST rate of gun murders (at 0.4 per 100,000) in the entire US despite their “fail” rating. In the meantime, California ranked 13th highest (at 3.4/100k), and DC, which would probably get an A rating, had the highest rate (at 16.5/100k). In the science world that generally means your measuring scale is crap …

  36. Illinois has a very low “rate” outside of Chicago. But Chicago, the reason for their “B”, is a post-apocalyptic hell world.

  37. If I were to just look at the graphic completely out of context my first thought would be there is something wrong with the criteria. I mean if more than half of the class (States) received a failing grade there is something wrong with the test, or the person(s) grading it.

    At the same time…. I’ll take the F for my state and wear it proudly! Like everyone else said… F is for Freedom!

  38. I really can’t believe they had the balls to print something so blatantly absurd. It’s facepalm-worthy ridiculous. How can anyone take that group seriously?

  39. I love the Brady Scorecard; makes it easy to shop for states I might want to live in. And judging from the map, they still are nowhere near “winning”. I’m confident that the “C” in Colorado is heading D-ward next year.

  40. So what you’re saying is F is great if you include all the gun-related suicides and accidents. It seems like the F states need to take a course in gun-safety to me. D’s and C’s are the real sweet spot! Yeah CO for having lots of guns AND a lower fatality rate! woo hoo! (well… at least the western part of CO has the guns)

    • I’m not even sure that’s true, as far as “where to live.” Are the numbers adjusted for population? If so, of course states with the highest populations are going to have the highest numbers of gun-related suicides and accidents, especially if they’re gun friendly.

  41. Alaska has the best gun control law.
    1. Alaska residents who legally own a firearm may carry it in any manner they choose.
    2. Alaska recognizes all other states carry laws.

  42. This graph includes gun violence to be GUN RELATED SUICIDE! Only about 30% of reported gun deaths are a result of violent crime!

  43. What?! People carrying a weapon for defense (at home or out), IMHO is the biggest single direct factor in physical homicide prevention, should have at least 90% of the scoring weight.

    Out of 100 points, it has 5-8. (5 to May issue, 0 to shall, -3 to no permit required)

    Look at the list. I’m not saying that the other things don’t matter at all, but they’re not going to make that much of a difference compared to if people carry or if they don’t.

  44. Brady Campaign. GDIAF. How stupid they are. Reading the scoring criteria…

    “Laws that ban or regulate semi-automatic firearms designed with military features to allow rapid and accurate spray firing.”

    Yeah, um, “accurate spray firing” is pretty much an oxymoron.

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