USA Gun Violence Statistics

GUN VIOLENCE in the UNITED STATES

Some Indicative Data:

Gun Ownership

  • The US has an estimated 283 million guns in civilian hands
  • Each year about 4.5 million firearms, including approximately 2 million handguns, are sold in the United States
  • An estimated 2 million second hand firearms are sold each year
  • The percentage of American households with a gun has been steadily declining (high of 54% in 1977 to 33% in 2009)
  • The average number of guns per owner has increased from 4.1 in 1994 to 6.9 in 2004.

Sources: Injury Prevention (2007); ATF (2000); National Opinion Research Center (2008); Pew Research Center (2009)

Gun Deaths:

More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in this country

More than 30 people are shot and murdered each day

1/2  of them are between the ages of 18 and 35

1/3 of them are under the age of 20

Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year-olds

And the primary cause of death among African Americans of that age group

Gun Homicides (average annually):

Less than 50: Japan

Less than 150:  Germany, Italy, France, etc.

Less than 200:  Canada

More than 10,000: USA

Source: IANSA (International Action Network on Small Arms of the United Nations)

Injuries and Deaths from Guns

Everytime a gun injures or kills in self-defense, one is used:

  • 11 times for a completed or attempted suicide
  • 7 times in a criminal assault or homicide
  • 4 times in an unintentional shooting death or injury

Source: Journal of Trauma, injury, Infection and Critical Care (1998)

Per Capita Annual Gun Death Rate (per 100,000 population):

Highest:  Louisiana (19.04, 45.6% households contain guns)

#25:  Pennsylvania (10.90)

Lowest: CT, NY, New Jersey (4.99), RI, MA, Hawaii (2.20)

National: (10.32)

Source: Centers for Disease Control

Costs of Gun Violence

  • Gun violence impacts society in many ways: medical costs, costs of the criminal justice system, security precautions such as metal detectors, and reductions in the quality of life because of fear of gun violence.
  • U.S. lifetime medical costs for gunshot injuries total an estimated $2.3 billion
  • U.S. taxpayers pay for almost half ($1.1 billion or 49%) of lifetime medical costs for gunshot injuries

Guns Recovered from Crime

  • Only 1% of gun dealer account for almost 60% of crime guns recovered by police and later traced
  • In one year, at least 30,000 guns were “lost” out of gun dealers inventories
  • Guns with a short “time to crime” are disproportionately represented among crime guns.  Guns manufactured and sold 3 years or less, prior to recopvery by police in crime make up 34 % of recovered and traced crime guns, but only 14% of the US gun stock.
  • Guns sold as paert of a multiple sale at a gun dealer were up to 64% more likely to be used in a crime than guns not part of such sales.
  • “No background check” sales account for an estimated 40% of gun sales in the U.S.

Sources: ATF (2000); Brady Center; National Institute of Justice (1993, 2007); Police Foundation (1997)

Distance From Legal Point of Purchase to Crime Recovery:

 

Within 10 miles

More than 100 miles

Philadelphia

61.2%

18.1%

Pittsburgh

62.9%

12.6%

Newark

9.1%

81.5%

New York City

4.4%

83%

Source:  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)

Percent of Recovered Crime Guns First Legally Purchased In-State:

Pennsylvania:  78%

New Jersey:  27%  (18% from PA)

New York:  28%

Source:  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)

Some Interesting Poll Data

77% of NRA members favor a waiting period for purchase of a handgun

82% of American support limiting the sales of military-style assault weapons

94% of police chiefs favor requiring a background check for all handgun sales.

Support for background checks on private gun sales, including gun shows:

  • 87% of American
  • 83% of gun owners
  • 69% of NRA gun-owners

Support for limiting handgun sales to one per person per month:

  • 65% of Americans
  • 59% of gun owners

Support for registration of handguns

  • 79% of Americans
  • 69% of police chiefs
  • 61% of gun owners
  • 59% of NRA members

Sources: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll (2008); Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (2008); Mayors Against Illegal Guns (2009); National Opinion research Center (2003); American Journal of Preventative Medicine (2006); Violence & Victims (1993)