Gun Violence by the Numbers

November 30, 2015

Everytown is committed to using the most comprehensive, up-to-date sources of data to measure America’s unprecedented levels of gun violence. Learn more by exploring the stats below.


Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show that on an average day, 91 Americans are killed with guns.

To calculate this, Everytown relies on a five-year-average of data from the Centers for Disease Control, whose National Vital Statistics System"Fatal Injury Reports," Injury Prevention & Control: Data & Statistics (WISQARS), accessed December 21 2015, excluding legal intervention, http://1.usa.gov/1plXBux contains the most comprehensive national data, currently available through 2014.

View CDC data on people killed by guns each year

Homicide Suicide Unintentional Legal Intervention Undetermined
Intent
Total
2010 11,078 19,392 606 344 252 31,672
2011 11,068 19,990 591 454 248 32,351
2012 11,622 20,666 548 471 256 33,563
2013 11,208 21,175 505 467 281 33,636
2014 10,945 21,334 586 464 270 33,599
Annual Average 11,184 20,511 567 440 261 32,964
Daily Average 31 56 2 1 1 91

There are nearly 12,000 gun murders a year in the U.S. – and despite falling crime rates, that number has barely changed since the late 1990s.

Between 1998 and 2014, gun homicides have not varied more than 11% in either direction from an annual average of 11,619.Fatal Injury Reports," Injury Prevention & Control: Data & Statistics (WISQARS), accessed December 21, 2015, http://1.usa.gov/1plXBux

Twice as many Americans are injured with guns as killed with them.

The number of Americans injured with firearms dwarfs the number who are killed, although data to measure non-fatal shootings are less reliable. The CDC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System estimates the number of annual non-fatal firearm injuries based on reports from a sample of hospital emergency departments: over the last five years, there were more than 200 non-fatal firearm injuries each day."Non-Fatal Injury Reports," Injury Prevention & Control: Data & Statistics (WISQARS), accessed June 29, 2015 http://1.usa.gov/1qo12RL.

View full data set on non-fatal firearm injuries

Year Non-Fatal
Firearm Injuries
2009 66,769
2010 73,505
2011 73,883
2012 81,396
2013 84,258
Annual Average 75,962
Daily Average 208

Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of firearm deaths in the U.S. are suicides.

Of the 33,599 firearm deaths in the US in 2013 (the most recent year of data available), 21,344 (or 64 percent) were suicides. To calculate this total, Everytown relies on CDC data regarding fatal injury by intent.Fatal Injury Reports," Injury Prevention & Control: Data & Statistics (WISQARS), accessed December 21, 2015, http://1.usa.gov/1plXBux

Seven children and teens (age 19 or under) are killed with guns in the U.S. on an average day.

Rates of firearm injury death increase rapidly after age 13. And unintentional shootings of children and teens are underreported in the CDC data, possibly because of the difficulty of characterizing a child’s intent after he or she has killed himself or a playmate with a firearm. In research released in 2013, Everytown documented 100 unintentional gun deaths of children 14 and under, 61 percent more than reflected by CDC data.Everytown for Gun Safety, Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Deaths, June 2014, available at http://every.tw/1iFElcV Everytown also tracks unintentional shootings involving children, which are reported in the press every 34 hours, on average.See Everytown for Gun Safety, Not An Accident – Index, http://every.tw/1GMK8np, and School Shootings since Newtown, http://every.tw/1eh50vh.

View full data-set on children and teens killed with guns

  Population  Total
Firearm
Deaths
 
Firearm
Homicides
 
2010 83,267,556 2,711 1,773
2011 82,814,893 2,703 1,651
2012 82,482,488 2,694 1,664
2013 82,248,087 2,465 1,410
2014 82,135,602 2,549 1,455
Total 413,043,293 13,122 7,953
Annual
Average
82,608,659 2,624 1,591
Daily
Average
N/A 7 4

In an average month, 51 women are shot to death by intimate partners in the U.S.

And more than half of all women killed by intimate partners in the U.S. are killed with guns.Federal Bureau of Investigation, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2009-13, available at http://bit.ly/1yVxm4K. Over the last five years of available data, 55% of women killed by intimate partners were killed with guns.

View full data set on gun homicides of women by a current or former intimate partner

Year  FBI Supplementary
Homicide Reports
 
Florida Department of
Law Enforcement
 
Total 
2009 595 61 656
2010 613 48 661
2011 553 61 614
2012 529 58 587
2013 519 41 560
Total 2,809 269 3,078
Annual Average 561.8 53.8 615.6
Monthly Average 46.8 4.5 51

America’s gun murder rate is more than 25 times the average of other developed countries.

An analysis of gun homicide rates in developed countries— those considered “high-income” by the World Bank that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and have populations larger than 1 million — found that the United States accounted for 46 percent of the population but 82 percent of the gun deaths.Erin Grinshteyn and David Hemenway, "Violent Death Rates: The US Compared with Other High-income OECD Countries, 2010," American Journal of Medicine, 2015. The World Bank defines a high-income country as one with a gross national income per capita greater than $12,736. Additionally, the study excluded Iceland and Luxembourg from the broader OECD for having very small populations, and also excluded Greece and Switzerland for not using detailed ICD-10 codes.

The background check system is a central component of America's efforts to keep guns from criminals: since its inception, it has blocked 2.4 million gun sales to prohibited people.

According to a study by the Department of Justice, from the inception of the background check system in 1994 through the end of 2012, federal, state, and local agencies conducted more than 147 million firearm applications and denied 2.43 million gun sales to prohibited people. Assuming a similar rate over the period 2013-15, to date the background check system has likely blocked nearly 3 million firearm sales to prohibited people.US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2012 - Statistical Tables, by Jennifer C. Karberg, Ronal J. Frandsen, and Joseph M. Durso (December 2014), http://1.usa.gov/1TgPRgB.

Black men are 10 times more likely than white men to be murdered with guns.

Black Americans make up 14 percent of the U.S. population but suffer more than half of all gun homicides."Leading Causes of Injury Death," Injury Prevention & Control: Data & Statistics (WISQARS), accessed January 25, 2015, http://1.usa.gov/1S8hAO4.

When a gun is present in a situation of domestic violence, it increases the risk the woman will be murdered fivefold.

A case-control study of 11 cities found that in a domestic violence situation, the perpetrator’s access to a gun increased the odds of femicide by more than five times (adjust OR=5.44, 95% CI = 2.89, 10.22).Jacqueline C. Campbell, Daniel Webster, and Jane Koziol-McLain, "Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results from a Multisite Case Control Study," American Journal of Public Health 93, no. 7 (June 2003): http://1.usa.gov/1osjCet.

Note on Data Sources

Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the FBI collect data on firearm homicides — the former from medical examiners and the latter from local law enforcement. Each data set has distinct advantages and flaws. The CDC’s National Vital Statistics System records a higher percentage of all firearm deaths but fails to capture details about their circumstances, including the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim. This makes it unsuitable for measuring gun violence between people of certain relationships.

In contrast, the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR) include details on the perpetrator and murder weapon but are more likely to be missing records because the FBI relies on police departments to voluntarily submit their homicide data on an annual basis. Despite these gaps, SHR data are utilized widely in the criminology community. The SHR do not include data from the state of Florida. Everytown obtained data for that state directly from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Women killed by former dating partners (as opposed to current dating partners) are not categorized in the Florida data and are not included.See James Alan Fox, “Missing Data Problems in the SHR: Imputing Offender and Relationship Characteristics,” Homicide Studies 8, no. 214 (2004); and Catherine Barber and David Hemenway, “Underestimates of Unintentional Firearm Fatalities: Comparing Supplementary Homicide Report Data with the National Vital Statistics System,” Injury Prevention 8 (2002).