SAN FRANCISCO – Yet another study shows that the states with the toughest gun laws have the lowest rates of gun-related deaths, while states with weak gun laws have the highest rates of gun deaths, State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) said Jan. 2.

State Sen. Leland Yee

The latest study – released by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence – shows that of the six states with the lowest per capita gun death rates (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut), all had some of the toughest gun laws in country.

In contrast, the top 10 states with the highest per capita gun death rates (Alaska, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi) all had weak gun laws.

“It is a fact that strong gun laws work and weak laws result in the loss of innocent lives,” said Yee, who is authoring legislation to close a major loophole in California’s assault weapon ban and to strengthen state law regarding safe storage of weapons. “Clearly, there is a direct correlation between common sense gun laws and fewer gun-related homicides. While we cannot stop every senseless act of gun violence, we should certainly strengthen our laws to prevent tragedies.”

Yee’s SB 47 is modeled after a bill he introduced last year but that was held by the State Assembly. The bill prohibits semi-automatic weapons like AR-15s and AK-47s from having devices known as “bullet buttons” and “mag magnets,” which allow the gun to be easily reloaded with multiple rounds of ammunition. SB 47 also prohibits add-on kits that allow high-capacity magazines.

Yee is also planning to introduce legislation that will toughen safety requirements. Current law only requires that gun owners own a trigger lock or safety lock box for their weapon, but doesn’t require the safety device to be used on an idle firearm. Yee’s bill will require that all guns have a locked trigger and be properly stored in a lock box when not in use.

On Dec. 21, Yee, the author of California’s law to prohibit the sale of ultra-violent video games to children (which was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011), issued the following statement on the National Rifle Association’s  proposal in response to the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.:

“I find it mind-boggling that the NRA suddenly cares about the harmful effects of ultra-violent video games. When our law was before the Supreme Court – while several states, medical organizations, and child advocates submitted briefs in support of California’s efforts – the NRA was completely silent. Now, rather than face reality and be part of the solution to the widespread proliferation of assault weapons in America, they attempt to pass the buck. More guns are not the answer to protecting our children, as evident by the fact that armed guards weren’t enough to stop the tragedy at Columbine High School. The NRA’s response is pathetic and completely unacceptable.”

Join the Conversation


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Lee uses a silly and loaded metric “gun deaths”. It is not “gun deaths” that are important, it is overall preventable deaths.

    To illustrate how silly this is, you could use the metric “hospital deaths”. Countries with more hospitals have more deaths in hospitals. To eliminate hospital deaths, simply eliminate hospitals, then you will not have any hospital deaths.

    Guns are used to save lives as well as to take them. That is why police have them. The fact that those who wish to disarm the population have to resort to this sort of disreputable statistical trick shows how bankrupt their arguments are.

  2. Mr. Yee does a good job of picking and choosing.

    How does he explain Illinois, the District of Columbia, and his own home state?.

    Sure, he uses per capita numbers, but those look pretty unrepresentative when you consider the city of Chicago alone had more murders alone last year than my entire state of Washington. WE all know about Detroit. Why is Michigan ahead of ahead of Texas?

    “Gun Deaths” is a misleading statistic. It includes suicide, justifiable killing, police shootings as well as homicides.

    Mr Yee mines whatever bogus conclusions he can, knowingly misleading people to make a name for himself.

  3. This country is in trouble when a prostitute cruising, shoplifter can get elected and then is able to use his warped sense of right and wrong to limit real Americans civil liberties. Leeland please go back to whatever 3rd world country you came from.