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Many of worst mass shootings post-COVID have occurred in states with tight gun laws, data shows

Of the five deadliest shootings in the U.S. since 2020, four of the states in which they occurred have at least a "B" grade for gun laws from gun control nonprofit.

Published: January 22, 2023 12:16pm

Updated: January 22, 2023 11:20pm

The mass shooting in California that left 10 people dead this weekend is the latest reminder that many of the deadliest mass shootings in America since COVID-19 have occurred in states with strict gun laws.

The worst mass shooting by far since the start of the COVID pandemic occurred in Uvalde, Texas, where when 21 elementary school students were killed. The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence gives Texas an F grade for gun laws, as the state allows permitless carry and does not have restrictions on assault weapons, among other things.

However, of the five worst shootings in the United States since 2020, four of the states in which they occurred have at least a "B" grade from Giffords.

Excluding murder-suicides within a family, half of the ten deadliest mass shootings over this period occurred in states that received at least an "A-" gun law grade.

Date State Giffords Gun Law Grade Fatalities, excluding perpetrators More information
5/24/2022 Texas F 21 18-year-old kills 12 at Robb Elementary School before being killed by officer
1/21/2023 California A 10 Monterey Park shooting at ballroom dance studio following Lunar New Year celebration, suspect on the run as of Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023
3/22/2021 Colorado B 10 Boulder grocery store shooting, suspect declared not fit to stand trial
5/14/2022 New York A- 10 Racially-motivated Buffalo supermarket shooting, suspect in custody
5/26/2021 California A 9 San Jose Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority employee killed nine coworkers before killing himself
4/15/2021 Indiana D- 8 Former FedEx employee killed eight workers before turning the gun on himself
3/16/2021 Georgia F 8 Man targeted mostly Asian women at Atlanta-area massage parlors and was sentenced to life without parole
7/4/2022 Illinois A- 7 Highland Park Fourth of July Parade shooting, suspect in custody
9/8/2020 California A 7 No suspect has been identified in this shooting at a marijuana grow house
6/4/2020 Alabama F 7 Seven people, purportedly part of a local "Seven Deadly Sins" club, were allegedly killed by two club members at a home, which was subsequently set on fire

With an "A" grade, California is ranked as the state with the strongest gun laws, according to Giffords. The state says it generally prohibits "large-capacity" magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and warns residents who were arrested without having charges filed against them that they may be unable to obtain a license to own a firearm, among other things.

New York and Illinois both have "A-" grades for gun laws by Giffords. Both states restrict the carrying of firearms and ban certain types of weapons.

Just three of the states where the ten worst shootings occurred have "F" grades: Texas, Georgia and Alabama.

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