(Springfield, VA) -- Gun Owners of America chided the recent issue of the "Gun Violence Report Card," an annual report that is published by the Brady Campaign.

"Once again, the Brady Campaign has flunked out," said GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt. "Their report card has nothing to do with reality."

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence issues their grades on the basis of how restrictive the gun laws of a state are. But their grades have nothing to do with the level of violent crime or murder in the states.

"South Dakota is the safest state in the nation. They have a substantial percentage of the population permitted to carry concealed weapons," Pratt said. "That is one of the reasons South Dakota was given a D on the Brady Report Card.

"South Dakota's murder rate is 0.9 per 100,000 people according to the FBI's Crime in the United States 2001. This is well below the national murder rate which is 5.9 per 100,000."

Vermont and North Dakota also allow citizens to carry firearms and enjoy very, very low murder rates (1.1 per 100,000 people). Nevertheless, the Brady Campaign gave these states a D- and D respectively.

"Interesting," said Pratt. "The three states where plenty of people are freely packing a piece are also the safest in the country.

"At the other end of the Brady Report Card, we find that Maryland garnered the sole A. It has the fifth highest murder rate in the country with 8.3 per 100,000 people. The state is a Mecca for gun control and has the dubious distinction of having a murder rate that is in the top 10 percent of the nation.

"If one were to move to a state because of its safety, one would certainly not want to go by the Brady Report Card," Pratt said. "Perhaps the Brady Campaign should get an F for placing their failed gun control agenda over the safety of American lives."

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