Study: Stricter Gun Control Means Less Gun Deaths

California has strict gun control laws and a low firearms death rate

California has the nation's strongest gun control laws -- and one of the lowest rates of gun deaths in the United States, according to a new study.

While news of shooting deaths in Oakland and elsewhere may lead some to believe otherwise, strong gun control laws in the Golden State have worked, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

California has 7.88 gun deaths per 100,000 people, the report found. Hawaii's rate was 3.31, and Alaska's was 20.28, the report found.

None of the major pro-gun organizations would comment on the report, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

2012 was one of the deadliest in the nation's history for mass shootings. Before a gunman in Newtown, Conn., murdered 26 people, including 20 children, a shooter at a Colorado movie theater killed 12, and a gunman at Oikos University in Oakland killed seven people.

All guns were acquired legally.

The weapon used in the elementary school massacre, the military-style Bushmaster, is banned in California but can be imported -- from Nevada, the newspaper reported.

The nation had an assault weapon ban in place from 1994 to 2004, legislation passed following the 101 California Street massacre in San Francisco, when a gunman toting assault weapons killed eight people.

In California, a background check is required before any firearm sale, and only one handgun can be purchased per month.

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