Gun Violence Statistics 2024 and What They Mean for America?

Gun Violence Statistics

Gun violence is a heartbreaking and preventable tragedy impacting communities across the United States. Firearms have long been a part of American history and culture, but today, acts of gun violence have become alarmingly common.

Since 2016, there have been over 10,000 firearm homicides each year, making guns the most frequently used weapon in these crimes. The U.S. stands out as the only high-income country with such a high death toll from gun-related incidents.

The impact of gun violence extends far beyond the numbers. For every person killed by a firearm, many more are injured, threatened, or witnessed such violence. Communities with high levels of gun violence experience deep, lasting effects, including the loss of loved ones and a pervasive sense of fear.

This fear affects daily activities, from walking in neighborhoods to sending children to school. Gun violence is truly a public health crisis that affects the well-being of everyone in this country.

Let’s delve into the statistics to better understand the scope and impact of gun violence in America.

Gun Violence Statistics

gun violence statistics
  • Annually, in the United States, approximately 44,341 people die, with a death rate of 13.3 per 100,000 people, and 96,935 are injured due to gun-related incidents. (1)

  • In the United States, the rate of gun deaths rose by 36% from 2013 to 2022. During this time, gun suicides went up by 18%, and gun homicides increased by 70%. (1)

  • In the U.S., 57% of gun deaths are suicides, while 40% are homicides. (1)

gun crime statistics
  • Every year, an average of 25,205 people in the United States die by gun suicide, and 2,411 are injured in gun suicide attempts. This equates to a rate of 7.2 suicides and 0.7 suicide attempts per 100,000 people. (1)

  • Each year, an average of 18,243 people die from gun homicides, and 35,451 are wounded by gun assaults. This translates to a rate of 5.8 homicides and 10.7 assaults per 100,000 people. (1)

  • Although active shooter incidents decreased by 18% from 2021, when there were 61 incidents, they have increased by 66.7% compared to 2018, when there were 30 incidents. (2)

gun deaths in america 2023

In 50 incidents, shooters used a total of 61 firearms: 29 handguns, 26 rifles, three shotguns, and three of unknown type. Additionally, two incidents involved snipers. (2)

us gun deaths
  • The gun homicide rate in the US is 26 times higher than in other high-income nations. (3)

  • Gun deaths and injuries cost the United States $557.2 billion annually, with taxpayers covering $12.6 billion of that amount. This figure includes the costs related to medical care, quality of life, criminal justice, loss of income due to death, disability, incarceration, loss of caregivers, and the revenue lost by employers. (1)

  • On average, the overall cost of gun violence in the U.S. is $1,698 per person each year. (1)

  • In the United States, an average of 4,094 children and teens die from gun-related incidents each year. Of these deaths, 31% are suicides and 63% are homicides. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in the U.S. (1)

  • In the United States, 78% of all homicides involve a gun. (1)

  • In the United States, there are approximately 121 firearms for every 100 residents. (4)

  • One in five people (21%) in the United States report having been personally threatened with a gun. Similarly, 19% say a family member was killed by a gun, including suicides, and 17% have witnessed someone being shot. Additionally, 4% have shot a gun in self-defense, and another 4% have been injured in a shooting. (5)

  • In the USA today, one in five people has lost a family member to gun violence. Every day, about 120 Americans are killed by a gun across our nation. (6)

  • A mass shooting is defined as an incident in which four or more people are injured or killed. This includes shootings that occur both in homes and public places. For each of the past three years, there have been over 600 mass shootings in the United States, averaging nearly two per day. (7)

  • 656 mass shootings occurred in 2023 alone. (7)

  • In the U.S., only 5 percent of gun dealers are responsible for selling 90 percent of the guns used in crimes. These dealers often engage in irresponsible or illegal business practices, tarnishing the reputation of the 86 percent of dealers who do not sell any crime guns in a given year. (8)

  • In the United States, Black people are 12 times more likely than white people to die by gun homicide. Conversely, white people are 2.1 times more likely than Black people to die by gun suicide. (1)

  • The number of fatal police shootings has increased in recent years, reaching a record high in 2023, with 1,161 people killed by police. (9)

how many gun deaths per year
  • More people suffer nonfatal firearm-related injuries than die from them. Over 70% of medically treated firearm injuries result from assaults, while nearly 20% are due to unintentional incidents. (10)

  • Firearm injuries impact people at all stages of life. In 2022, firearm injuries of all types were among the five leading causes of death for individuals aged 1-44 in the U.S. Notably, firearm injuries were the leading cause of death among children and teens aged 1-19. (10)

Gun Ownership

gun violence in america
  • Around four in ten, 40% of U.S. adults live in households with guns, and 32% personally own them. (11)

  • It is estimated that 66.3% of households in Montana own a firearm, whereas only 14.7% do in New Jersey. (12)

  • Age-adjusted firearm homicide rates in the United States vary widely, from a high of 14.4 per 100,000 in Washington, DC, to a low of 1.1 per 100,000 in New Hampshire. In Washington, DC, gun violence accounts for the highest percentage of child deaths by firearm, with 13.8% of those who die under the age of 20 being victims of gun violence. (13)

  • During the pandemic, one out of every five U.S. households acquired a gun. First-time gun buyers during the pandemic were more likely to be younger and People of Color compared to those who owned guns before the pandemic. (14)

  • 71% of gun owners report taking pleasure in owning a gun. Eighty-one percent of gun owners say that owning a gun makes them feel safer. (11)

  • According to a 2015 national survey, approximately 7% of U.S. children (around 4.6 million) live in homes where at least one firearm is stored, loaded and unlocked. This estimate is more than twice as high as the estimates reported in 2002. (15)

  • From 2017 to 2021, approximately 1,074,022 firearms were reported stolen in the U.S., averaging about 200,000 each year. (16)

  • Globally, the United States holds the top position in terms of gun ownership. With less than 5% of the world’s population, it represents 46% of all civilian-owned guns globally. (17)

  • According to MFA, the U.S. is estimated to have 393 million firearms owned by civilians in 2017, even though its population was under 326.5 million. This means there were about 120.5 guns for every 100 individuals. (17)

Gun Deaths by State

gun deaths per year usa

Gun laws in the United States vary from state to state, which significantly impacts the differing rates of gun violence across the country. States with stringent gun safety laws tend to have fewer gun-related deaths, while states with more permissive gun laws often see higher rates of gun violence.

Additionally, some states with strong gun safety laws still experience high rates of gun violence due to gun trafficking, where firearms are illegally moved across state lines.

As of 2024, Mississippi had the highest gun violence rate in the country, with 29.6 incidents per 100,000 residents, followed by Louisiana at 28.2 per 100,000. In contrast, Rhode Island had the lowest gun violence rate, at 3.1 per 100,000 residents.

Top 10 States by Gun Death Rates

Final Thought

Gun violence remains a critical issue in the United States, with significant impacts on public health and safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights alarming statistics, including high rates of fatal shootings, firearm deaths, and unintentional firearm injuries.

Despite child access prevention laws aimed at reducing unintentional shootings, incidents continue to occur, emphasizing the need for more effective measures. Intimate partner homicides and police-involved shootings further contribute to the nation’s gun death rate, while the gun suicide rate underscores the mental health crisis tied to firearm access.

The financial burden of gun violence is immense, with gun violence costs impacting healthcare systems and taxpayers alike. Legal interventions and global firearm suicides also play a role in these expenses.

The disparity in gun death rates between high-income countries highlights the unique challenges faced by the U.S. Implementing stronger regulations and preventive measures can help mitigate these costs and save lives, ultimately fostering a safer environment for all.

References

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