Wyoming ranks number one in the nation in gun-related deaths. That’s according to a new report from the Violence Policy Center. While the national average is just over ten deaths per 100,000 people, Wyoming has more than twice that beating out states like Louisiana, Alaska and Mississippi. The report shows that most western nations like the United Kingdom have rates of less than one death 100,000 people.
Suzan Campbell, Public Policy Director with the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault says Wyoming’s gun laws aren’t just lax, but nearly non-existent when it comes to keeping weapons away from dangerous individuals.
"We have no state laws to keep guns out of those who we should be keeping guns away from," says Campbell. "No state laws. We rely on the federal law, the Lautenberg amendment and that doesn’t even really get enforced. I think we’re probably at the bottom as far as having any state laws to try to deal with that because we just don’t. We actually try to extend people that can get guns instead of trying to keep it away from those that shouldn’t get it."
Campbell also says gun violence disproportionately affects women in the state and women are around five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has a gun. 62% of Wyoming households have one or more guns.