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Report: Kentucky 16th Deadliest State for Gun Violence

Public News Service

Kentucky ranks 16th worst in the nation for gun violence according to a new report, with someone killed with a gun every 15 hours in the Commonwealth. Researchers with the Center for American Progress looked at ten different types of gun violence from 2005 to 2014, including suicides, homicides, and mass shootings.

Report co-author and vice president of guns and crime policy at the Center for American Progress, Chelsea Parsons, said the states with the strictest gun laws had the lowest levels of violence.

"What we found is that the ten states that have the weakest gun laws collectively have rates of violence that are more than three times higher [than] the ten states with the strongest gun laws," she said.

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has given Kentucky an "F" for the strength of its gun laws. The Center for American Progress gave Massachusetts the best score on the gun violence index, Louisiana the worst.

The researchers found that laws requiring background checks, trigger-lock rules and training requirements coincided with lower rates of gun violence. Noting a 2016 poll that showed 79 percent of Kentucky voters support background checks for gun sales, Parsons said passing that law would make people facing domestic abuse safer.

"Making sure that all gun sales in the state are required to undergo a background check will help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers who are not supposed to be able to buy them," she added.

According to the report, Kentucky has the eighth-highest rate of women fatally shot by their intimate partners, 119 over the past ten years.