West Virginians are more likely than people in other states to use guns to kill wives and girlfriends, to kill people accidentally and to kill themselves, according to a new report released this week.
The report, from the Center for American Progress, looked at 10 categories of gun violence. It found that West Virginia ranks among the top in several areas, including the export of guns later used in crimes, mass shootings, fatal gun accidents, gun-related suicides, police officers killed with a gun, fatal shootings by police and gun-related murders of women by intimate partners.
The center conducted a similar study in 2013 to look at the connection between the strength or weakness of a state's gun laws and rates of gun violence. Since then, eight states enacted universal background checks in response to the fatal shootings of 20 children and several adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, bringing the number of states with those checks up to 18. Also since then, 20 states strengthened their laws to help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
Some states have taken the opposite approach, according to study authors Chelsea Parsons and Eugenio Weigend, loosening laws on where guns may be carried and weakening or eliminating concealed carry permit requirements. West Virginia eliminated the concealed carry permit requirement this year.
Read the rest West Virginia has more gun-related crime than most states by Erin Beck, Staff Writer for the Gazette-Mail