Connecticut had fifth-lowest rate of gun deaths in U.S. in 2016

Connecticut was one of a half-dozen states whose rates of gun deaths fell after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2008 establishing a Second Amendment right to keep firearms in the home for self-defense, according to a study released Wednesday by the Violence Policy Center, a group that advocates gun-control measures.

From 2009 through 2016, gun deaths jumped nationally by 17 percent, while they fell by 2.2 percent in Connecticut, which had the fifth-lowest rate of firearm fatalities at 4.81 per 100,000 persons. The U.S. death rate from guns was 11.96, up from 10.21 in 2009.

“In Connecticut, we pride ourselves on being a national model for sensible gun policy because we know that commonsense measures like background checks and banning the sale of military-style assault weapons save lives,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said. “Today’s report is proof-positive that our policies are working, but now is not the time to rest on our laurels.”

He is seeking a ban on bump stocks and other accessories that can make semiautomatic rifles fire nearly as quickly as machine guns.

Slightly more than one in five households in Connecticut have firearms, compared to 14.3 percent in Massachusetts, which had the lowest rate of guns death in the U.S. at 3.55 per 100,000, according to the study. The other states with the lowest death rates from guns were New York, Hawaii and Rhode Island.

The state with the highest rate of guns deaths was Alaska, where more than half of all households have firearms. The death rate from firearms was 23.86 per 100,000.

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About Mark Pazniokas

Mark, a winner of numerous journalist awards, is the former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and a former contributing writer for The New York Times. In more than 30 years as a reporter, he has covered some of the most compelling stories in the state, including the impeachment inquiry and resignation of Gov. John G. Rowland in 2004 and the nationally watched Senate race won by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as an independent in 2006. Mark is a graduate of Boston University. E-mail him at mpazniokas@ctmirror.org.

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