INSTITUTE INDEX: The South under the gun

Percent by which the rate of gun violence in states with the weakest gun laws exceeds that of states with the strongest gun laws, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress: 104

Of the 10 states with the most gun violence*, number in the South: 6

Of the 10 states with the least gun violence**, number in the South: 0

National gun-murder rate, per 100,000 people: 3.6

Rate in Louisiana, the state with the nation's highest level of gun violence: 9.5

Among the 50 states, Louisiana's rank for the strength of its gun laws: 45

Rank of Mississippi among the states with the highest rate of women murdered with guns: 1

Rank of the strength of Mississippi's gun laws: 48

In the months since the elementary-school massacre in Newtown, Conn. led to calls for stronger gun regulations, number of states that have enacted legislation that would strengthen gun laws: 5

Of those states, number in the South: 1

Number of states that have enacted legislation that would weaken gun laws: 9

Of those states, number in the South: 5

Date on which the town council of Nelson, Ga. unanimously passed an ordinance requiring every household to have a gun and ammunition, though the measure reportedly won't be enforced: 4/1/2013

Date by which Congress is expected to begin debating federal legislation to tighten up background checks for would-be gun buyers: 4/15/2013

Since the existing background check system began in 1994, number of attempted gun purchases the federal government has blocked because of felony convictions or other problems with the buyer's background: 1.9 million

Percent of U.S. gun purchases for which no background check is required because of loopholes in the law: 40

Percent of Americans who support stricter background checks, which the National Rifle Association is fighting: 90

Of the 13 Southern states, number that require background checks for purchases of handguns at gun shows: 1***

* 1. Louisiana, 2. Alaska, 3. Alabama, 4. Arizona, 5. Mississippi, 6. South Carolina, 7. New Mexico, 8. Missouri, 9. Arkansas, and 10. Georgia.

** 1. Hawaii, 2. Massachusetts, 3. Connecticut, 4. New Jersey, 5. New York, 6. Iowa, 7. Rhode Island, 8. Minnesota, 9. Maine, and 10. Nebraska.

*** North Carolina

(Click on figure to go to source. For a copy of "America Under the Gun," the new report from the Center for American Progress on gun laws and gun violence, click here.)