States with the weakest firearms laws have the highest rates of gun-related homicides and suicides, Reuters reports.

According to a study released Wednesday by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, Alaska had the most gun deaths (20.28 deaths per 100,000 people in 2010 – twice the national average). Louisiana and Montana followed with 19.06 and 16.58 deaths per 100,000 people respectively, and they were among the 10 states with the weakest gun laws.

Eight of the states with the highest levels of gun violence were among the 25 with the weakest gun laws, says the report, citing a 2012 study by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The 2012 study notes a strong link between state gun laws and gun violence, although the links does not imply cause and effect, Reuters reports. Gun violence rates are also affected by factors such as gun trafficking across state lines, overall crime patterns and other socioeconomic issues.

Louisiana, Alaska and Alabama have the highest levels of gun violence, based on measures including firearm deaths, suicides, homicides and police officers feloniously killed by firearms, the Reuters article states.

Hawaii, Massachusetts and Connecticut had the lowest rates of gun violence and were among the 10 states with the strongest gun laws, the study finds. Hawaii only had 3.31 firearm deaths per 100,000 people in 2010.

The U.S. had about 31,300 firearms deaths in 2010, with two-thirds of them suicides, according to the Center for Disease Control and the National Vital Statistics Report.