In order to illustrate the magnitude of everyday gun violence, Everytown has gathered the most comprehensive, publicly available data. Still, significant data gaps remain—a result of underfunded, incomplete data collection at the state and federal level. Filling these gaps is necessary to truly understand the full impact of gun violence in the United States.
Average Deaths per YearCenters for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) Fatal Injury Reports. A yearly average was developed using five years of most recent available data: 2014 to 2018. While it is broadly considered to be the most comprehensive firearm fatal injury source, two of the intent categories—Shootings by Law Enforcement and Unintentional Deaths—are estimated to be greatly underreported. This underreporting is largely due to missing information on death certificates, which may result in misclassification of intent. Multiple media sources and nonprofit groups have tracked shootings by law enforcement, but no reliable public database captures unintentional shootings. Intent category averages may not total to yearly average due to rounding.
*Note: This intent category is believed to be underreported and is likely being misclassified as homicide.Loftin C, Wiersema B, McDowall D, Dobrin A. Underreporting of justifiable homicides committed by police officers in the United States, 1976-1998. American Journal of Public Health. 2003; 93(7): 1117-1121.See also: Barber C, Azrael D, Cohen A, Miller M, et al. Homicides by police: Comparing counts from the National Violent Death Reporting System, Vital Statistics, and Supplementary Homicide Reports. American Journal of Public Health. 2016; 106(5): 922-927. The Washington Post’s database is widely cited and estimates that 988 civilians are fatally shot by police in an average year—nearly twice as many as recorded by the CDC.Fatal Force. The Washington Post. Data reflects a 5 year average (2015 to 2019) of deaths attributed to police shootings. https://wapo.st/policeshootings?tid=ss_tw.