The Law Center is proud to have provided the extensive legislative analysis relied upon by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in its annual state scorecards, which were released on February 16th, 2012. The scorecards assign a score to each state based on the strength or weakness of its gun laws.

Our work has been critical to the adoption and defense of strong laws in California, which received the highest score of any state in the country. As the scorecards show, however, too many states have weak, gap-filled laws that make it easier for criminals and other dangerous persons to acquire military-style firearms and carry guns in public places.

The Brady Campaign announced that:

California continues to blaze legislative trails in saving lives, rising to a high of 81 points on the 2011 Brady State Scorecard rankings of state gun laws. California’s universal background check system, retention of purchase records, limiting handgun purchases to one a month, and an assault clip ban are just some of the laws that provide a road map to preventing gun violence.

Opposite California are Arizona, Alaska, and Utah with 0 points each. In fact, a Brady Campaign analysis of crime gun trace data finds that the 31 states with few or no gun laws export 9 times the crime guns as the six states with the strongest gun laws.

For the 5th year in a row, the Brady Campaign has issued a 100-point scorecard ranking all 50 states on the basis of laws that can prevent gun violence, such as background checks on all gun sales, permit-to-purchase requirements, limiting handgun purchases to one a month, and retention of sales records. The scorecard ranks states for laws that were in enacted by the end of 2011.

» Click here to download full state scorecard
» Click here to download state rankings

The Law Center’s publication, “Regulating Guns in America” and our website served as the primary sources for this analysis. 

We continue to conduct unparalleled, comprehensive research that makes nationwide surveys like the state scorecards possible. Last year, our attorneys reviewed over 700 gun-related bills introduced in state legislatures across the country, providing expertise and support to activists fighting to keep communities safe from gun violence.

Tracking and analyzing gun laws across the country is challenging and complex work, but it is essential in order to identify the solutions needed to prevent future tragedies. By taking on this responsibility, the Law Center plays a critical role in the movement to create safer communities nationwide.