Gun deaths outpace motor vehicle deaths in 10 states including Indiana, according to a report from a national nonprofit group that advocates for stricter gun control laws. The Violence Policy Center report says Indiana had 735 reported gun deaths in 2009, compared with 715 people who died in motor vehicle accidents.
The group says it based its information on statistics from the Center for Disease Control.
Kristen Rand, the legislative director for the Violence Policy Center, says states have created laws to make driving safer, but they haven’t done enough to regulate firearms.
“Right now all we know is how many suicides, homicides, and unintentional injuries there are each year,” she says. “But we don’t know the make and model of guns used in particular incidents, we don’t very well understand the circumstances.”
The state of Indiana tracks the number of people with gun licenses and Dave Bursten with the Indiana State Police says gun accidents are often a result of carriers with no official training or people who don’t qualify to legally own a gun.
“The overwhelming majority of people who are killed by guns are usually people involved in some kind of criminal act and people who probably have a felony conviction and should not be in possession of a firearm,” Bursten says.
The other states with more firearm than vehicle fatalities in 2009 were Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
Network Indiana contributed to this report.