Gun Violence Epidemic

Summary of Gun Violence Statistics in America ¹

Although mass shootings receive the most media attention, over 100,000 people are victims of a gunshot wounds every year, and of these, 30,000 are killed.  In 2010, firearms killed 31, 672 people in the U.S., including 11,078 homicides, 19, 392 suicides, and 606 unintentional firearm deaths.  In 2011, guns were used to commit over 470,000 violent crimes and approximately 70% of all homicides were committed with a firearm.

Gun violence strains our resources with overwhelming medical, legal and societal costs.  Medical costs have been estimated at $2.3 billion annually, half of which are borne by the American taxpayer.  Combining all direct and indirect legal, medical and societal costs², the estimated annual cost of gun violence amounts to $100 billion.

No segment of our society is immune from gun violence.  Children and young people are especially at risk : in 2010, 2,711 juveniles age 19 and under died from gunshot wounds and another 15, 576 were injured.  Children and young people under the age of 25 account for 38% of all firearm deaths and injuries.  The availability of a gun increases the probability of death in incidents of domestic violence, raises the likelihood of fatalities among those who attempt suicide, and disproportionately affects communities of color.

Pennsylvania has been one of the deadliest states in the past 10 years.  From 2001 through 2010, there were 12,941 gun deaths in Pennsylvania, the 4th highest of all 50 states. ²  In 2010, Pennsylvania had the 5th highest rate of gun homicides among children and teens age 19 and under. ³

¹ Taken from 2014 edition, “Regulating Guns in America, A Comprehensive Analysis of Gun Laws Nationwide,” Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, San Francisco, CA

² Center for American Progress

³ Center for American Progress