Missouri has the fourth highest gun death rate in the country and ranks in the bottom 10 for its gun laws, according to a recent report from Everytown for Gun Safety.
The gun safety nonprofit developed a scoring guide for each state based on its gun laws and gun violence rates. States with tougher gun laws see less violence, Everytown found, while 13 states including Missouri without gun safety policies experience far more gun deaths.
Kansas City has had exceptionally high homicide numbers over the past two years. In 2021, 157 people were killed in Kansas City, Missouri, making it the second deadliest year in the city’s recorded history, following a record 182 killings in 2020.
As The Star has previously reported, Missouri has some of the loosest gun laws in the country and one of the highest gun death rates.
After the state legislature removed a decades-old permit-to-purchase requirement in 2007, Missouri’s firearms death rate increased 58% by 2019, according to a Star analysis of state firearms death figures.
That amounted to between 49 to 68 additional firearm deaths each year in Missouri over the following decade, Johns Hopkins researchers found.
Everytown ranked Missouri 41st in the country for the strength of its gun policies.
In the analysis, Everytown identified 50 gun safety policies, such as permit requirements to own and carry, regulations around the types of guns that are legal and restrictions on who can possess a firearm. Missouri had eight of the 50 gun safety policies the nonprofit identified.
Meanwhile, states with the lowest rates of gun violence, like California, Hawaii and Massachusetts, ranked high on the strength of their gun laws.