Gun Violence Facts & Figures

Quantities

More than 30,000 Americans are killed by guns each year.


There are approximately 875 million small arms circulating worldwide, produced by more than 1,000 companies from nearly 100 countries.

Small Arms Survey


There are 51,438 gun retailers in the United States. In addition there are 61,562, “collectors,” 7,356 pawn shops as well as importers and manufacturers for a total of 129,817 gun dealers in the country.

(For comparison, there are 14,098 McDonalds and 36,536 grocery stores.)

Business Insider


The states with the highest household gun ownership rates are:

  1. Alaska
  2. Louisiana
  3. Mississippi
  4. Alabama
  5. Montana

Violence Policy Center


The states with the most gun deaths are:

  1. Alaska
  2. Louisiana               
  3. Mississippi
  4. Alabama                                                          
  5. Arkansas

CBS


The U.S. is #1 in the world for most guns per capita: 112 for every 100 citizens.

Wikipedia


There are approximately 310 million firearms in the U.S. — not including weapons owned by the military. Of these, 114 million are handguns, 110 million are rifles, and 86 million are shotguns. This is about twice as many guns per capita as there were in 1968.

Congressional Research Service


Gun sales have increased in recent years. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. gun-makers produced nearly 11 million guns in 2013. That’s twice as many as they made in 2010. After the Sandy Hook massacre of 20 first graders and their teachers in 2012, many states eased laws on gun ownership and gun purchases increased. Gun sales often rise after most massacres.


While the number of guns in civilian hands has been on the increase, the percentage of Americans and American households who claim to own guns has been in long-term decline. The Pew Research Center has extrapolated that the percentage of American households with a gun has been steadily declining from a high of 54% in 1977 to 33% in 2009 but the average number of guns per owner has increased from 4 in 1994 to 6 in 2004.

Congressional Research Service


Use

Handguns kill 20 times more people than rifles.

CNN


From 2001-2013, the number of Americans killed by terrorism: 3,380.

The number of Americans killed by firearms: 406,496.

60% of these (243,897) were suicides.

CNN


70% of active shootings are in schools or businesses. (3% are in houses of worship)

CNN


Between 2000 and 2013 shooter incidents ended by:

Shooter committed suicide: 40%

Law enforcement exchanged gunfire with shooter: 28%

Unarmed citizens safely restrained shooter: 13%

Armed citizens exchanged gunfire with shooter: 3%

Other: 16%

CNN


Of the 33,000 gun deaths in the US, approximately 21,000 were self-inflicted.

Under the Gun


Gun violence is the 2nd leading cause of death for 10-19 year olds (after motor vehicle crashes).

Under the Gun


In 2013, firearms were used in 84,258 nonfatal injuries and 33,169 deaths. 11,208 of the deaths were homicides, 21,175 suicides, 505 were accidents, and 281 deaths due to “undetermined intent.” (This excludes deaths due to legal intervention). 1% of all deaths in the country were related to firearms.

Center for Disease Control & Prevention


67% of all homicides in the US were conducted by a firearm.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime


Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 335,609 people died from guns — more than the population of St. Louis (318,069), Pittsburgh (307,484), Cincinnati (296,223), Newark, (277,540), and Orlando (243,195).

Center for Disease Control, Children Defense Fund, U.S. Census


Handguns comprised 72% of the firearms used in murder and non-negligent manslaughter incidents in 2011; 4% were with shotguns; 4% were with rifles; 18% were with unspecified firearms.

Federal Bureau of Investigation


Kids

Children in the US are 75% more likely to be shot than children in the United Kingdom.

Under the Gun


More than 20% of U.S. teenagers (ages 14 to 17) report having witnessed a shooting.

NBC


An average of 7 children and teens under the age of 20 are killed by guns every day.

NBC


American children die by guns 11 times as often as children in other high-income countries.

NBC


Youth (ages 0 to 19) in the most rural U.S. counties are as likely to die from a gunshot as those living in the most urban counties. Rural children die of more gun suicides and unintentional shooting deaths. Urban children die more often of gun homicides.

NBC


In 2007, more pre-school-aged children (85) were killed by guns than police officers were killed in the line of duty.

NBC

In 2010, 82 children under five years old died from firearms compared with 58 law enforcement officers killed by firearms in the line of duty.

Children Defense Fund (CDF), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)


Every 3 days, more kids ages 0-19 died from firearms than died in the 2012 Sandy Hook Grade School massacre.

Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), Center for Disease Control (CDC)


Nearly 3 times more kids (15,576) were injured by firearms in 2010 than the number of U.S. soldiers (5,247) wounded in action that year in the war in Afghanistan

Children Defense Fund (CDF), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Department of Defense (DOD)


Domestic Violence

The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


66% of females murdered by intimate partners were killed with guns.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


A woman whose abuser owns a firearm is 5 times more likely to be murdered than a woman whose abuser does not own a gun.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


In 2012, 924 women were killed by male intimate partners.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


Women in the US are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than in other developed nations.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


Having a gun in the home increases the risk of homicide 20 times when there is a history of domestic violence.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


20% of homicide victims with restraining orders are murdered within 2 days of obtaining the order; 33% are murdered within 1 month.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


48% of women killed by intimate partners were killed by dating partners.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


76% of women murdered by intimate partners were stalked.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


A person who has been convicted of the felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence toward a spouse, former spouse, cohabiting intimate partner or a person with whom the offender shares a biological child is prohibited from owning firearms. Likewise, a person under a permanent restraining order is not permitted to own firearms. However current law does not prohibit the following people from possessing firearms:

  • People convicted of domestic violence against a current or former dating partner
  • People convicted of stalking
  • People under an ex parte (temporary) restraining order

Many people who are legally prohibited from owning guns are able to purchase them, because:

  • Local records often do not contain sufficient detail to flag offenders
  • Offenders can purchase firearms at gun shows or from private sellers, thereby bypassing the background check system

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.

Bread for the World


Mass shootings in the U.S. (4 or more injured or killed)

2013:      254

2014:      281

2015:      330

Shooting Tracker


80% of people who carry out mass shootings are using legally obtained firearms.

The Fiscal Times


Research

Since 1996, it is illegal for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to research gun violence – inhibiting accurate information.

Under the Gun


The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) is barred from computerizing its records and must look up records by hand. The ATF receives over 1,000,000 requests each month to help solve crimes and can only find files for about 360,000. Because of this impediment, the ATF is unable to investigate about 30% of the cases it receives.

Under the Gun


The National Rifle Association (NRA)

The NRA commonly invokes themes dividing the country into “good guys” and “bad guys” or fear and distain of the government.

Under the Gun


The NRA has changed its focus over last 150 years. It was originally concerned about hunting and gun safety.

Under the Gun


The vast majority of gun owners are not members of the NRA.

Under the Gun


Financial Considerations

The stock market value of gun-maker Smith & Wesson rose throughout 2015. The shares of gun-makers Strum Ruger and Vista also performed extraordinarily well, rising 72% and 29%, respectively

The Fiscal Times


In 2012 the NRA spent $17 million on presidential and congressional elections.

The Fiscal Times


Gun violence costs taxpayers approximately $516 million in direct hospital costs.

NBC


Each year, it is estimated that gun violence costs America $229 billion. These expenses include:

  • Medical treatment
  • Legal fees
  • Long term prison costs
  • Long term medical and disability expenses
  • Mental health care
  • Emergency services
  • Police investigations
  • Security enhancements

Mother Jones


However the true cost of gun violence is not fully known because of the vast sum NRA and other gun rights advocates spend to shut down research on firearms.

Business Insider


The lifetime medical cost for all gun violence victims in the United States is estimated at $2.3 billion, with almost half the costs borne by taxpayers.

NBC


Miscellaneous

The city of Kennesaw, Georgia requires all of its residents to carry guns.

The Fiscal Times


It is illegal to sue gun manufacturers for gun violence.

Under the Gun


5% of gun cases are committed by people deemed “mentally ill”.  Far more are committed by individuals convicted of DUI’s, domestic violence etc.

Under the Gun


5% of gun stores are responsible for 90% of guns used in crimes.

Under the Gun


Regulation

90% of Americans and 84% of gun owners support background checks on gun purchases.

Under the Gun


74% of National Rifle Association (NRA) members agree with background checks.

Under the Gun


Gun sales were on the decline before 1986 when the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 was overturned. Key provisions of the act regulated the firearms industry and firearms owners. It also focused on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by generally prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers.

Under the Gun


Teddy bears are more regulated than guns.

Under the Gun


Sales at Smith & Wesson fell by 40% due to a NRA boycott, after agreeing to some minor gun control measures. (It swiftly reversed course)

Under the Gun


The NRA has opposed restrictions of gun sales to people on the federal terrorist watch list and from 2004-2014, 2,000 such people purchased weapons.

Under the Gun


40% of guns sold in the U.S. are without background checks.

Under the Gun


A background check normally takes about 90 seconds but sometimes the volume slows this time down considerably.

Under the Gun


The FBI has 72 hours to finish a background check and if it isn’t able to do so, the gun sale goes forward. This time limit has allowed 50,000 gun sales that shouldn’t have.

Under the Gun


47% of Americans say they are in favor of stricter gun laws. This percentage has dropped from the 58% of people recorded in 2012 after the shooting at Sandy Hook Grade School.

Gallup


In 2015, 85% of Americans said they favored expanding background checks for gun buyers.  Both Democrats (88%) and Republicans (79%) supported the idea.

Pew Research Center


When safety measures were imposed on cars in 1967, automobile deaths dropped by 80%.

Under the Gun


90% Americans agree that with universal background checks, including 75% of NRA members.

NBC


Since the Brady Law was passed, about 2 million attempts to purchase firearms have been blocked due to a background check. About 50% of these blocked attempts were by felons. However the current background check system only applies to about 60% of gun sales, leaving 40% (through online sales, purchases at gun shows, etc.) without a background check.

NBC


The state of Illinois licenses real estate professionals, nurses, doctors, funeral directors, and hair braiders … but not gun dealers.

People for a Safer Society


In-state gun trafficking is 2-4 times higher in cities located in states without gun sales regulation.