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New Here? Guest Opinion: With better gun laws, fewer people die

January 28, 2022

On Tuesday, published an opinion piece by Meredith Cummings, a Senior Instructor of Journalism and Creative Media at The University of Alabama who has a personal connection to gun violence. In the piece, Cummings discusses the state of gun violence in Alabama, citing research from Everytown’s new interactive gun law platform.

The new site, launched last week, shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and its rate of gun deaths. The new analysis concludes that states with strong gun safety policies, such as background checks on all gun sales and extreme risk laws, have lower rates of gun violence while states with weaker gun laws, such as permitless gun carry and Stand Your Ground, have higher rates of gun violence. The tool shows that Alabama has weak firearm laws, scoring only 18 out of 100 for gun law strength while suffering the fifth-worst gun violence rate in the country.

From the piece:

“While federal laws help prevent gun violence nationwide the federal system is much too weak overall — for example, failing to require background checks on all gun sales and giving special legal immunity to the gun industry.

Alabama policymakers should protect our citizens by filling the many gaps in federal law. Alabama citizens should vote for policymakers who care about protecting our families.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, a nonprofit that focuses on preventing gun violence, unveiled a new tool and website last week that shows the direct correlation between a state’s gun laws and the state’s rate of gun deaths. The tool shows that Alabama has the 4th highest rate of gun deaths in the country. Alabama is listed as a “weak system” on the Everytown ranking. 

With better laws, fewer people die. It’s that simple. Wake up, Alabama.”

This legislative session, elected officials in Alabama are considering permitless carry legislation that would allow people to carry concealed handguns in public without first passing a background check. This policy would remove Alabama’s most important gun safety protection, further lowering their gun law score and ranking, and exacerbating the already devastating rate of gun deaths in the state. State law enforcement officers, including the Alabama Sheriffs Association, have been vocal about their opposition to permitless carry.

Read the full piece here.

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