State Gun Laws: Why They Matter

This week, President Obama traveled to Colorado to continue to press Congress to pass legislation on gun violence prevention. Next week, he is set to travel to Connecticut to do the same. Both are states that have witnessed horrific mass shootings over the past year, and both have since seen their legislatures act to pass bipartisan gun violence prevention bills. Connecticut's new law, passed and signed into law this week, strengthens a ban on assault weapons, limits magazine sizes, and creates the nation's first statewide dangerous weapon offender registry. Maryland also saw strong gun legislation pass their legislature this week, likely to be signed into law next week. All of this movement comes the same week that a new report was released showing that state gun laws likely do have a significant impact on levels of gun violence.

"Eight of the 10 states with the weakest gun-control laws, including Louisiana, Arizona, Mississippi, Montana and Oklahoma, are among the 25 with the highest rates of violence," according to a new Center for American Progress report. [Bloomberg]

The report is the second in recent weeks to link gun deaths and state laws. [New York Times]

Some of the backstory on how Connecticut's law was shaped. [Frontline]

How Connecticut's bill compares to the new laws in New York and Colorado. [AP]

Legislation passed both legislative chambers in Maryland this week that would ban assault weapons, limit magazines, and require potential buyers to submit fingerprints. [AP]

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley indicated he would sign the bill into law on Monday. [Baltimore Sun]

An updated interactive feature on how gun laws vary from state to state. [AP]

A roundup of the gun laws that states have passed post-Newtown. [National Journal]

"While Congress remains paralyzed by the grasp of the NRA, various state legislatures have made moves to strengthen their own gun laws." [The American Prospect]

At the same time that some states are strengthening gun laws, other states are weakening them. [ABC News]

A shocking number of states have seen legislation introduced that would put more guns in schools. [Sunlight Foundation]

(This article originally appeared in the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's email roundup of the latest state policy news. Read the full Dispatch from April 6, 2013 here or sign up to receive the Dispatch in your inbox here.)