Researchers found that states such as Montana, Arkansas, Alabama and Idaho, which have the highest rates of state-registered private gun ownership, also have the highest rates of homicide of law enforcement officers. States including Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey experience some of the lowest rates of both police officers killed and gun ownership.
“States should consider methods for reducing firearm ownership as a way to reduce occupational deaths of law enforcement officers,” was the blunt advice from the research paper published online on Thursday by the American Journal of Public Health.
Researchers studied the 782 homicides of police officers between 1996 and 2010 and gun ownership rates state by state using information from the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“If we’re interested in protecting police officers, we need to look at what’s killing them, and it’s guns. We know that 92% of police officers killed in the line of duty are killed by guns, three-quarters of which are handguns,” said David Swedler, lead researcher and an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health.
States with higher rates of gun ownership have higher rates of cops killed by guns. Well, am I ever shocked and surprised.