A new study by the Violence Policy Center finds states that have weak gun laws and higher rates of gun ownership also have the highest overall gun death rates in the country. The study, which used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, finds New Jersey has the fifth lowest gun death rate of any state in the nation, 5.45 per 100,000.

(Joe Raedle, Getty Images)
(Joe Raedle, Getty Images)

"New Jersey has a gun ownership rate of about 11 percent, and a gun death rate of about 5 ½ percent, and that is very low," said Kristen Rand, the legislative director of the Violence Policy Center.

Rand said the state's numbers are low, particularly when you compare it to the state that ranked the highest - Louisiana - which has a death rate of 18.91 per 100,000.

"New Jersey's gun laws are definitely relatively strong," she said. "You have waiting periods, you have licensing of gun owners, you have more restrictive concealed carry permitting. That's better than most states and it makes a difference when it comes to gun death rates."

She stressed while New Jersey has one of the lowest gun death rates in the country, it's still much higher than many industrialized nations like the United Kingdom, which has a gun death rate of less than 1 per 100,000.

The state with the lowest gun death rate is Rhode Island, with 3.14 deaths per 100,000, followed by Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York and then New Jersey.

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