Gun violence is a problem plaguing our society. Every day, people are injured and killed by guns. Below, you will see the latest gun violence statistics covering many aspects concerning firearm-related deaths globally and in the US.
Gun violence refers to death or injury caused by firearms and includes assault with a deadly weapon, suicide, homicide, attempted suicide, and non-criminal violence such as shooting accidents. In recent years, gun violence has become an epidemic in the United States.
Now, we will look into the numbers.
Trending Gun Violence Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- In 2021, 42% of US households owned one or more firearms.
- Over 4.6 million young Americans live in households with loaded and unlocked firearms.
- Around 4.5 million women have been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner.
- 249 US school shootings occurred in 2021—the highest number in the last 50 years.
- In the US, 7,957 children and teens are shot per year.
- 10 gun homicides happen on US college campuses annually.
- In 2019, the US ranked 2nd in the number of gun-related deaths globally.
- Mississippi has the highest gun death rate in the US, with 28.6 deaths per 100,000 residents.
How Many Guns Are in the US?
Everyone is aware of the gun culture in America. In fact, the country has more firearms than any other in the world. When looking into the number of guns in the US, we can see that there are 120.5 firearms for every 100 residents. That means there are more guns than people in the US.
Of course, not everyone owns a gun, but the high number still reflects the popularity of firearms in the country. Hunting is a popular pastime in many parts of the US, and many people believe in their right to bear arms.
Gun Ownership Statistics
1. Over 875 million firearms exist in the world.
So, we’re not surprised that more and more people fall victim to gun violence worldwide. Out of that number, only 59% are legal. That means people illegally own over 516 million guns.
2. 42% of households in the US owned one or more firearms in 2021, facts on US gun ownership by year show.
The percentage of firearm-owning households in the US has hovered around the 37% to 47% mark since 1972.
This reflects the cultural significance and symbolic power gun ownership has in the US, which goes well beyond the apparent pros and cons of owning firearms.
3. Firearm stats reveal that the Canadian province of Ontario registered 473,765 firearms in 2019.
This puts Canada’s gun ownership rate on par with other Western European countries, which is much lower than that of the United States. Gun violence in Canada is also less common.
The primary reasons for gun ownership in Canada are hunting, and target shooting; people don’t typically keep guns for self-defense as the legality of doing so is highly restricted; thus, in Canada, gun violence isn’t a highly concerning issue.
4. Gun statistics show you can buy a HiPoint pistol for under $200.
Then again, a reliable pistol for concealed carry may cost $500. A duty pistol typically costs over $590, and a good competition pistol is usually more than $1000. Ultimately, the pistol price depends on the features and quality the buyer is looking for.
5. Black people represent 24% of gun owners in the United States.
In comparison, 36% of gun owners are White, and 15% are Hispanic. These numbers show that White people are more likely to own guns than any other group in the country.
However, these gun violence statistics by race show that gun ownership is not limited to any race or ethnicity but is instead widespread across all groups.
6. On March 31, 2021, 565,929 people in the UK held a firearm or shotgun certificate.
This represents a decrease of 3% (-20,422) compared to the previous year. The UK is not the only country to see a reduction in gun ownership; in fact, many developed nations have seen a decline in recent years.
There are several possible explanations for the not-so-common UK gun violence and ownership.
First, stricter gun laws have made it more difficult for people to acquire firearms. Second, gun violence statistics note that the rise of violent crime in many countries has led people to reconsider whether they need a gun.
Finally, the spread of gun violence through media and entertainment has made many people uneasy about owning a firearm.
7. 45% of surveyed male Americans owned a gun in 2020.
It’s expected that men are more likely to own a gun than women, so gun violence statistics by gender do not come as a surprise.
A recent Gallup survey shows that 32% of US adults personally possess a firearm. Out of this, women account for only 19%.
8. Fewer than 20% of gun owners are members of the NRA.
An often overlooked point on the NRA is that its impact on the gun debate has vastly been overstated. Its spending on lobbying hasn’t been that high lately, either.
Instead of battling it out with the NRA, a more effective way forward for the increasing number of people in favor of gun control might be to focus on gun education and convince the public to back anti-gun legislation with votes.
American Gun Statistics
A bit of trivia—do you know that more Americans have died in firearm-related incidents since 1968 than in wars since 1775?
Believe it or not, that’s true.
9. 52% of Americans think gun laws in America should be stricter.
Moreover, 35% of respondents said that gun laws should remain the same, while 11% said they should be less strict. The survey results indicate that a majority of Americans would like to see stricter regulations on firearms.
Proponents of stricter gun laws argue that it would make it more difficult for dangerous people to obtain firearms. On the other hand, opponents of stricter gun laws say it would infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens.
10. Youth gun violence statistics show that suicide rates in children and adolescents who live with guns are four times higher.
Over the past decade, there’s been a rise in teenage gun violence, especially in children and adolescent suicides, with an increase of over 80%.
Out of those deaths, around 40% were due to firearms. However, it’s important to note that having a gun in the house does not automatically mean there will be suicide.
However, it creates increased risk factors and opportunities, leading to these terrifying teenage gun violence statistics.
Parents who choose to have guns in the house should take extra care to store them safely and out of reach and open up communication about suicide and mental health with their children.
11. Over 4.6 million kids aged 18 and under in the US live in households with loaded and unlocked firearms.
(American Academy of Pediatrics)
The presence of a readily available household gun sets the stage for possible tragedy. In addition, adolescents are particularly susceptible to accidental shootings due to specific behavioral characteristics like impulsivity and curiosity.
In 2020, at least 125 toddlers under five unintentionally shot themselves or someone else.
12. About 4.5 million women have been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner, gun violence statistics show.
Moreover, gun violence research finds that almost 1 million women have been shot at or shot by an intimate partner. In the United States, intimate partner violence is a severe problem.
These numbers are alarmingly high, highlighting the need for more effective interventions to protect women from gun violence.
13. Concealed carry permit laws can increase violent crimes by 13–15%.
States that have legislated concealed carry or limiting law enforcement discretion in delivering carry permits have seen an up to 15% rise in the rates of violent crimes.
For instance, Arizona revoked its concealed carry permit requirement in 2019, letting people over 21 publicly carry concealed guns with no permits.
Gun violence statistics disclose this resulted in an 11% rise in the gun injuries and deaths rate. Moreover, there’s a 24% rise in the chances that an individual involved in a violent crime gets shot and killed.
14. Women have five times higher chances of being murdered by their intimate partner if they have access to a gun.
Intimate partner homicides most commonly involve guns. In fact, firearms deaths statistics confirm that over 50% of all such murders are committed using guns.
While other weapons may cause more severe injuries, guns are much more likely to be fatal.
15. 63% of surveyed gun owners in the US have a firearm for protection or personal safety.
(Pew Research Center)
Apart from gun use for self-defense, people cited other reasons, too. In fact, 40% of gun owners use them for hunting, while 11% own firearms to indulge in shooting as a sport or a nonspecific recreation.
16. Gun control statistics uncover that over 75% of first and second graders know where their parents keep firearms.
That’s one of the alarming statistics parents must pay attention to. Moreover, 36% of 5–14 year-olds have also admitted to handling a weapon without their parents’ knowledge.
In addition, more than 80% of guns used by young people in suicide attempts are kept in the home of a victim, friend, or relative.
Gun death statistics show that many accidental gun deaths could be prevented by adding a gun safe or two devices: a child-proof safety lock and a loading indicator.
17. America’s handgun sales grew by nearly 65% in October 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.
There was a significant growth in handgun sales during the pandemic—about 1 million handguns were sold in October 2020. This is a staggering 65% increase.
However, handgun sales reached a high-time record of over 2.5 million in March 2020. Additionally, people purchase pistol cleaning equipment to ensure their handguns don’t jam upon use in self-defense.
If you are looking for a non-lethal self-defense weapon, maybe you should consider buying a stun gun or a TASER.
US Gun Violence Facts
Gun control and crime rate statistics studies have found that better gun control is one of the solutions to high crime rates and deaths. However, the gun industry and the lobbyists disagree.
18. Gun violence in America has a significant economic impact, costing the nation an estimated $557 billion annually.
Believe it or not, this figure is five times the budget for the Department of Education that funds preschool through college for millions of Americans. Gun violence imposes costs in many ways, including medical expenses, lost productivity, and criminal justice costs.
19. Mass shooting stats find that only 16 mass shootings in the US from 1982 to July 2022 involved illegally obtained guns.
At the same time, 87 mass shootings involved legally obtained guns. Registrations and background checks go so far only if the widespread circulation of firearms makes it easy for disturbing elements to source them quickly through other means. Finding a weapon is the least of their problems if someone is determined to commit such an atrocious act.
20. If all mental illnesses in the US were to be cured overnight, violent crime in the country would fall by only 4%.
(Dubois County Free Press)
Gun violence statistics show there is a slim association between mental health and gun violence.
For instance, Duke University professor Jeffrey Swanson’s research shows that mental illnesses (i.e., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression) only have a marginal effect on gun incidents.
21. Policies restricting abusers from accessing firearms have been proven to reduce intimate partner homicides by 25%.
So, this is one of the gun violence statistics that show such policies save lives; they help reduce violence in a relationship, making it less likely that a murder will occur.
The good news is that there’s also a domestic violence protective order—a court-issued order to protect victims of abuse.
In addition, domestic violence statistics have shown that more than a third of women worldwide experience domestic abuse.
22. According to statistics on mass shootings, the highest number of US mass shootings (12) was recorded in 2018.
In the following year, this number dropped to 10 mass shootings. Furthermore, 2020 saw only two mass shootings, while that number jumped to six in 2021.
23. 316 people are shot in America every day.
Out of that number, 106 die, while 210 survive. This leaves 106 families grieving the loss of a loved one, while 210 people must grapple with the physical and emotional aftermath of being shot.
24. Child gun violence statistics reveal that 7,957 children and teens are shot annually.
A high mortality rate in children is among the most egregious examples of gun violence. Data shows that, out of the above number, 1,663 die from gun violence. Meanwhile, most of these denote a brighter side: 6,294 children and teens manage to survive gunshot injuries.
25. 19 US states and the District of Columbia have passed red flag gun laws.
Red flag laws—measures to keep guns away from people who show signs of volatility—were in place in only five states before the Parkland mass shooting.
School shooting statistics confirm that school shootings and trends in gun violence in the US typically have little effect on gun politics in the country. Still, the impact of the Parkland incident has been different.
26. With a GFI (gun-friendly index) of 122.90, Alaska is the best state for responsible gun owners.
In Alaska, there’s no waiting period to own a gun. Moreover, universal background checks and restrictions on assault weapons or magazine capacity are also not practiced.
The statistics further reveal Arizona in the second spot, with a GFI of 119.26. On the contrary, New York is the worst state for responsible gun owners.
27. Gun violence statistics show there were 3,561 shooting incidents in Chicago in 2021.
This is just over 300 more than in 2020 and 1,415 more than in 2019. In fact, Chicago ended 2021 with 797 homicides, which is 25 more than the previous year. This is the biggest number of homicides since 1996 and 299 more than in 2019.
28. An assault rifle is a less commonly used homicide weapon, accounting for 2.6% of all homicides.
(Criminal Attorney Columbus)
Handguns are the most commonly used weapon, accounting for 45.7% of all homicides. However, firearms death statistics note that firearms (type unknown) are the second most common type of weapon, accounting for 23.9% of all homicides.
Other weapons, such as knives or cutting instruments, are also relatively common, accounting for 10.6% of all homicides. In some cases, homicide victims are killed with hands or feet, accounting for 4.3% of all cases.
On the other hand, shotguns account for only 1.4% of all homicides.
29. California recorded the highest number of school shootings between 1970 and 2020, amounting to 180.
Regarding the state with the highest incidence of gun violence in schools, statistics reveal that California is pulling ahead.
Since 1970, this state has recorded a total of 180 school shootings, as mass shootings by state facts confirm. Then again, one of the safest cities in the US is in California—Anaheim.
Texas occupies the second spot, having 149 shootings, and the third place belongs to Florida, with 103 shootings from 1970 to 2020.
30. Gun violence statistics find that 249 school shootings occurred in the US in 2021—the highest number in 50 years.
The United States has a long history of gun violence in schools. In 2021, 9 were active shooter incidents, and 240 were non-active shooter incidents. Moreover, 2018 recorded the highest number of active shooter incidents (11) in the last 50 years.
Do Other Countries Have Mass School Shootings?
It’s a tragic reality that the US is not the only country with a mass school shooting problem. While mass school shootings are relatively rare, they have occurred in other countries worldwide. Let’s take a look at school shootings around the world.
In 2002, a gunman opened fire at a school in Erfurt, Germany, killing 16 people before shooting himself. There were also wounded people.
Mass shooting stats show one instance in Brazil in 2019, when two former students went to a school and killed seven people before killing themselves. Moreover, an 18-year-old shooter went to a state university in Russia and killed six people in 2021.
When looking at mass shootings per capita worldwide, it’s evident that mass school shootings are more common in the US than anywhere else. Moreover, mass shootings in countries with gun control are less prevalent. However, it is essential to remember this is a global problem.
Facts About Gun Violence in the US Compared to Other Countries
31. The rate of firearm homicide in the US is 23 times higher than in Australia.
As per a gun violence report, firearm homicides are far more common in the United States than in other developed countries. For example, when US age-adjusted firearm homicide rates are compared to those in France, they are 13 times greater.
When looked at on a broader level, the US has 22 times the rate of firearm homicide in the European Union. These statistics make it clear there is a serious problem with gun violence in America that needs to be addressed.
32. Death by firearm statistics note that the US ranked 2nd in the number of gun-related deaths worldwide in 2019.
(World Population Review)
Regarding gun deaths by country, Brazil topped the list with the most gun violence deaths, accounting for 49,436 Brazilian citizens. The United States is next, with 37,038 gun deaths that year.
The third place in worldwide gun violence belonged to Venezuela, where 28,515 gun-related deaths occurred, according to worldwide gun violence stats.
33. The US accounts for just 4% of the world’s population but 35% of global firearm suicides.
Several factors contribute to this disturbing statistic and the causes of gun violence.
First, guns are simply more effective at killing than other methods. They are also easily accessible; there are more guns than people in the United States, and many households have multiple firearms.
Additionally, gun culture is deeply ingrained in American society, and many people grow up with a false sense of security about guns. The truth is guns are dangerous weapons that should be treated with caution and respect.
34. America’s gun suicide rate is eight times higher than many European and other developed countries.
These gun death statistics don’t come as a surprise, with widespread access to firearms in the US. Perhaps more surprising is that despite this well-documented link between guns and suicide, little has been done to prevent it.
35. US mass shootings were responsible for 73% of all incidents occurring in developed countries between 1998–2019.
During this time, 62% of all 1,318 fatalities from mass shootings also occurred in the United States, according to FBI mass shooting statistics. These numbers are staggering and highlight the need for better gun control measures in the United States.
Mass shootings are a tragic reality in our country, and it is clear that something needs to be done to prevent them.
36. There are 120.5 civilian firearms per 100 persons in the US—the only country with more firearms than people.
So, it’s no wonder gun crimes in the US are so common.
India has almost 1.4 billion people and is second with 71.1 million civilian-owned firearms. Both of these countries have something in common: they all have a history of violence and/or conflict. It seems that guns and humans go hand-in-hand, unfortunately.
37. Gun death statistics show that the number of children killed by guns in the US is 36.5 times higher compared to Austria.
Gun violence in the United States is on the rise, and child accidental death statistics show American children are far more likely to be killed by guns than their counterparts in developed countries. Unfortunately, unless something changes, this alarming trend will continue in the future.
38. In 2020, firearms killed 4,357 people up to the age of 19 in the US.
On the other hand, only five young people were killed in Japan that year. While firearm deaths were the leading cause of death in America for this age group, it was the 15th leading cause of death in Japan.
Gun Death Statistics
39. On average, 10 gun homicides happen on college campuses yearly.
(Every Town Research)
College campus safety statistics suggest that policies allowing firearms in universities increase the incidence of gun violence on college campuses. If there are about 20 million students attending universities or colleges, can you imagine how many lives are at risk?
40. In 2019, 486 Americans died from unintentional firearm injuries.
When looking at firearm deaths per year, we can say that the statistic above means unintentional firearm injuries made up about 1.2% of all gun deaths in 2019, as FBI statistics on gun deaths also confirm.
While that may seem like a small percentage, it’s important to remember that each death is a tragedy and preventable.
Several steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of accidental shooting, such as proper gun safety training and storage and keeping guns out of the hands of children and adolescents. This is where a suitable handgun safe comes in handy to prevent firearms mishandling.
41. Young Black men and teens accounted for over 37% of US firearm homicide victims in 2019.
These gun violence statistics by race and age are especially troubling, given that Black men and boys ages 15 to 34 make up just 2% of the nation’s population.
Let’s not forget what hate crime statistics have shown—nearly half of hate crimes in 2020 were driven by anti-Black or African-American bias.
To reduce the number of gun-related deaths in the Black community, it is essential to address these underlying issues. Only then can we hope to see a reduction in the number of young lives lost to gun violence.
42. The ratio of young Americans killed by firearms to those killed by cancer is almost 2:1.
As the gun death statistics mentioned earlier, 4,357 young Americans up to 19 years old died from firearms in 2020, making it the leading cause of death in the US. At the same time, cancer was the fifth leading cause of death for this age group, with 1,767 deaths in 2020.
43. In 2020, 124 people died from gun violence per day in the US.
While many people die each day for various reasons, such as illnesses, accidents, and natural causes, it’s pretty heartbreaking to know that gun violence causes a significant number of deaths.
Unfortunately, CDC gun death stats confirm that overall firearm-related deaths increased by 15% in 2020.
44. Only a dozen USA states require permits to purchase a gun.
This suggests that most states do not support gun control. Out of these 12 states, only three require purchase permits for rifles and gunshots. These states are California, Hawaii, and Connecticut.
45. 19,379 gun violence deaths were reported in the US in 2020, which was the highest number in more than 20 years.
Gun violence statistics affirm that the number of deaths from gun violence reached a high record last year amidst the pandemic crisis. Moreover, 2020 saw the highest number of firearms deaths in over two decades.
This does not include the number of suicide deaths by firearms amounting to 24,090, as shown by gun crime statistics.
46. In 2020, over 4,300 young Americans died of firearm-related injuries.
So, gun violence was the leading cause of death for children in the United States. In many cases, these deaths could have been prevented if gun safety precautions were taken or guns were not readily available.
47. Gun death statistics reveal there are 30,382 deaths from gun violence in September 2022.
(Gun Violence Archive)
Out of them, 13,948 are homicides, and 16,434 are suicides. This epidemic is affecting people of all ages, with victims ranging from young children to senior citizens. In the wake of these tragedies, it is essential to remember that gun violence is preventable.
48. America has already seen at least 309 mass shootings in 2022.
These disturbing gun violence statistics show no signs of abating, and the failure of lawmakers to take action is inexcusable.
The vast majority of mass shootings are done with legally-obtained firearms, and the ease with which these weapons can be obtained is a major contributing factor to the problem. In addition, the toxic mix of racism, misogyny, and hatred that seems to be prevalent in our society is also a driving force behind these shootings.
Until we address these underlying issues, we will continue to see an alarming number of mass shootings in America.
49. Mississippi has the highest rate of gun deaths in the United States, with 28.6 per 100,000 residents.
So, it is also the state with the most shootings. Gun violence statistics by state note that Louisiana and Wyoming are among the top five states for gun deaths and have weak gun safety laws.
The high rates of gun death in these states are likely due to the lax gun laws, which makes it easy for people to get their hands on guns without any safety training or background checks.
50. 11 US presidents have been victims of attempted assassinations with firearms, and 4 died of bullet wounds.
(World Population Review)
The weapons used to kill four US presidents, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, and John Kennedy, were three handguns and a rifle.
Gun Violence Statistics: Conclusion
Gun violence is a problem in the United States, and it’s time for lawmakers to take action. While many factors contribute to gun violence, access to guns is a significant contributor. We need common-sense gun reform to make our communities safer.
Despite a functioning US criminal justice system and most socio-economic metrics being considered the best in the world, the gun-related suicide and homicide rate is exceptionally high. Even the number of gang-related deaths has increased.
We hope you find this data helpful. As a result, you have a clearer understanding of the problem’s severity and develop a more informed viewpoint on a critical and often divisive political issue.
People Also Ask
How many gun deaths are there in the US per year?
To answer this question, we’ll use the daily gun deaths record of 500. By doing a simple mathematical computation, we arrive at an answer—182,500 US gun deaths per year. This means guns kill more than 180,000 people yearly.
How many mass shootings have been recorded worldwide?
Since 1966, there have been 164 incidences of mass shootings recorded worldwide. Out of this number, more than half occurred since 2000, while 33% occurred since 2010. What’s alarming is that 20% of cases happened in the last five years.
Which country has the most mass shootings?
The United States leads the world in mass shootings. A recent study finds that despite having only 5% of the global population, the country is home to a 31% share of the world’s mass shooters.
Who leads the world in gun deaths?
Brazil holds the record of having the highest number of gun deaths per year worldwide, with 43,200 casualties out of the 250,000 global total.
However, in terms of the rate of violent gun deaths per capita, El Salvador ranks first, with 36.78% gun deaths per 100,000 people.
Do guns do more harm than good?
It depends on how you look at it. Guns do a lot of good as they provide people with the ability to protect themselves and their families from harm.
However, people can also use guns to commit crimes; in those cases, they usually do more harm than good. So, it depends on the context.
Who is affected most by gun violence?
Young Black and Brown people experience the highest rates of gun violence. This problem disproportionately affects communities of color, as these are the neighborhoods that gun violence targets most often.
What percent of murders involve guns?
Around 79% of US murders in 2020 involved guns. In other words, that was 19,384 cases out of 24,576, according to gun violence statistics.
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- AP News
- AZ Defenders
- Brady United
- Brady United
- Business Insider
- Criminal Attorney Columbus
- Dubois County Free Press
- EU Dispatch
- Every Town Research
- Gun Violence Archive
- Health Data
- NBC Chicago
- Pew Research Center
- Pew Trusts
- The Conversation
- The Hill
- USA Today
- World Population Review
- World Population Review