December 13, 2013

Chart of the Week: Most new gun laws since Newtown ease restrictions


In the immediate aftermath of last year’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, majorities of Americans favored several proposals to tighten rules on who could buy guns and what types of guns and ammunition they could buy, according to a Pew Research Center survey. But in the year since Newtown, no new gun-control measures have passed Congress, and most new state laws have loosened, rather than tightened, gun restrictions.

The chart above, compiled by The New York Times, summarizes 109 state-level gun statutes enacted since Newtown. The accompanying interactive provides a state-by-state rundown on legislative activity regarding ten different categories of laws (some statutes cover more than one category).

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 4.59.16 PM

For example, all but one of the 29 new state laws addressing gun permits (partially shown in the screen capture above) made those rules looser; all 22 laws addressing when guns can be carried in public loosened restrictions. On the other side of the debate, 15 of 17 laws sought to make it harder for mentally ill people to buy guns; 12 of 14 laws tightened rather than loosened rules regarding background checks.

Category: Chart of the Week

Topics: Gun Policy

  1. Photo of Drew DeSilver

    is a senior writer at Pew Research Center.


  1. bill derberg4 years ago

    The State of Illinois was left out. That was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court ruling forced them to become a “shall issue” state.

  2. B Wickman4 years ago

    We can only hope that the grass roots understanding that law abiding citizens have a right, not to say duty, to protect themselves with weapons will gradually percolate upwards through even the most impermeable ‘liberal’ strata.

  3. K Brown4 years ago


    I disagree with the assumption that recognizing a concealed carry permit from another state can be considered to be “loosening” of gun restrictions. Is there a relationship between concealed gun carrier permits and mass murder events? Congress used a well documented study to support their decision not to increase restrictions and instead focus on mental health solutions.

    There should be a study on how many liberal journalists manufacture research studies to prove a point.

    Mildly disappointed, but it provides awareness of the liberal slant at Pew Research.

    K Brown

    1. dormilon3 years ago

      It most certainly loosens a restriction.

      In recognizing that CCP from another state, applicable new residents no longer must submit to a different set of criteria or training requirements nor must they undergo another background check. This has nothing to do with correlation, causal or otherwise, with mass murder events, it simply assesses whether laws relax or loosen existing gun laws or make them more restrictive.

      Seen from the opposite perspective, if your state recognized CCPs from other states, then, in response to a recent massacre, decided to enact a law to eliminate this reciprocity and, thereby, require new residents to submit to the application and training requirements for a new CCP, I am fairly certain you would regard this as another restriction threatening your gun-ownership rights.

      But I suppose if you’re looking for liberal slants, you’ll find them anywhere.