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Gun violence in America has existed at epidemic levels for decades, and recent CDC data warns that this public health crisis is quickly getting worse. In 2020, the firearm homicide rate surged by 35% and gun violence became the number one cause of death for children and teens for the first time. Due to the impacts of past and enduring systemic racism, gun violence is inflicting disproportionate devastation in Black and Brown communities. In 2020, Black people experienced the highest homicide rate increase and were four times more likely to be killed by a firearm than the general population. Gun violence remains the leading cause of premature death for Black men, as well as the number two cause of premature death for Latino men and Black women.In the face of this worsening epidemic and despite the fact that violence was recognized federally as a public health issue over 40 years ago, many cities across the country have yet to begin funding comprehensive public health strategies to end the cycle of violence. This report was developed to give advocates and local officials the tools they need to help change that.Community Justice's City Violence Prevention Index (VPI) is a first-of-its-kind national examination of local violence prevention programs, services, and policies. The VPI also represents the first national examination of local offices of violence prevention, including the details of their core functions. This inaugural edition assesses the 50 U.S. cities that experienced the highest incidents of gun violence in 2021, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
This report illustrates the enormous toll gun violence has in the U.S. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the 2020 CDC firearm fatality data, which was made public in December 2021; a look at demographic and state-level geographic differences; and a comparison of other injury fatalities. The report also highlights evidence-based policy recommendations states can implement to help curb gun violence in all its forms.
In the early morning hours of July 5, 2017, New York Police Department officer Miosotis Familia was ambushed as she sat in a marked NYPD command truck with her partner while providing additional security to a Bronx neighborhood after Fourth of July festivities. In an attack that police officials described as an assassination, Officer Familia was fatally shot in the head with a gun that had been stolen in Charleston, West Virginia, four years earlier. Less than a month earlier on the other side of the country, a UPS driver in San Francisco shot and killed three co-workers and injured two others using a gun that had been stolen in Utah. The shooter was also armed with a gun that had been stolen in Napa County, California.Stolen guns pose a significant risk to community safety. Whether stolen from a gun store or an individual gun owner's collection, these guns often head straight into the illegal underground gun market, where they are sold, traded, and used to facilitate violent crimes. Gun theft is not a minor problem in the United States. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), during the four-year period from 2012 to 2015, nearly half a billion dollars' worth of guns were stolen from individuals nationwide, amounting to an estimated 1.2 million guns. Twenty-two thousand guns were stolen from gun stores during this same period. A gun is stolen in the U.S. every two minutes.This problem does not affect all states equally. The rate and volume of guns stolen from both gun stores and private collections vary widely from state to state. From 2012 through 2015, the average rate of the five states with the highest rates of gun theft from private owners—Tennessee, Arkansas, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Alabama—was 13 times higher than the average rate of the five states with the lowest rates—Hawaii, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and Massachusetts. Similarly, from 2012 through 2016, the average rate of the five states with the highest rates of guns stolen from gun stores was 18 times higher than the average rate the five states with the lowest rates.Gun owners and dealers have a substantial responsibility to take reasonable measures to protect against theft and help ensure that their guns do not become part of this illegal inventory. This report analyzes data from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to provide state-by-state data on the frequency with which guns are stolen from licensed gun dealers and individual gun owners in communities across the country. It then offers a number of policy solutions to help prevent future gun thefts.
Since 1980, there have been at least 56 mass shootings (3 or more fatalities) where the shooter used high-capacity ammunition magazines. A total of 507 people were killed in these shootings and 497 were wounded. This number is likely a significant undercount of actual incidents since there is no consistent collection or reporting of this data. Even in many high-profile shootings information on magazine capacity is not released or reported.
A new Pew Research Center survey attempts to better understand the complex relationship Americans have with guns and how that relationship intersects with their policy views.The survey finds that Americans have broad exposure to guns, whether they personally own one or not. At least two-thirds have lived in a household with a gun at some point in their lives. And roughly seven-in-ten – including 55% of those who have never personally owned a gun – say they have fired a gun at some point. Today, three-in-ten U.S. adults say they own a gun, and an additional 36% say that while they don't own one now, they might be open to owning a gun in the future. A third of adults say they don't currently own a gun and can't see themselves ever doing so.To be sure, experiences with guns aren't always positive: 44% of U.S. adults say they personally know someone who has been shot, either accidentally or intentionally, and about a quarter (23%) say they or someone in their family have been threatened or intimidated by someone using a gun. Half see gun violence as a very big problem in the U.S. today, although gun owners and non-owners offer divergent views on this.Gun owners and non-owners are also deeply divided on several gun policy proposals, but there is agreement on some restrictions, such as preventing those with mental illnesses and those on federal watch lists from buying guns. Among gun owners, there is a diversity of views on gun policy, driven in large part by party affiliation.The nationally representative survey of 3,930 U.S. adults, including 1,269 gun owners, was conducted March 13 to 27 and April 4 to 18, 2017, using the Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel.
A push by the firearms industry and gun lobby to make it far easier for private citizens to buy and possess firearm silencers will only place the police and public at increased risk warns a new and expanded edition of the Violence Policy Center's (VPC) study Silencers: A Threat to Public Safety. In detailing this marketing push, the study also documents examples of lethal attacks and criminal activity involving silencers.
Despite broad interest in estimating the economic costs of gun violence at the national and individual levels, we know little about how local economies respond to increased gun violence, especially sharp and sudden increases (or surges) in gun violence. This brief summarizes findings that surges in gun violence can significantly reduce the growth of new retail and service businesses and slow home value appreciation. Higher levels of neighborhood gun violence can be associated with fewer retail and service establishments and fewer new jobs. Higher levels of gun violence were also associated with lower home values, credit scores, and homeownership rates.
Despite broad interest in estimating the economic costs of gun violence at the national and individual levels, we know little about how local economies respond to increased gun violence, especially sharp and sudden increases (or surges) in gun violence. Our report found that surges in gun violence can significantly reduce the growth of new retail and service businesses and slow home value appreciation. Higher levels of neighborhood gun violence can be associated with fewer retail and service establishments and fewer new jobs. Higher levels of gun violence were also associated with lower home values, credit scores, and homeownership rates. Interviews with local stakeholders (homeowners, renters, business owners, non-profits, etc.) in six cities across the United States confirmed that the findings match their experience. Business owners in neighborhoods that experience heightened gun violence reported additional challenges and costs, and residents and business owners alike asserted that gun violence hurts housing prices and drives people to relocate from or avoid moving to affected neighborhoods. Some of the report's key findings include: Impact of Gun Violence Surges on Local Business Growth, Home Values, Homeownership Rates, and Credit Scores across Cities Gun homicide surges in census tracts reduced the growth rate of new retail and service establishments by 4 percent in Minneapolis, Oakland, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.Gun homicide surges in census tracts slowed home value appreciation by 3.9 percent in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, Oakland, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.Gunshot surges in census tracts slowed home value appreciation by 3.6 percent in Oakland, Rochester, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.Neither gun homicide nor gunshot surges were observed to reduce homeownership rates or credit scores in these cities. Homeownership rates might not fall as quickly as home values in response to sudden surges in gun violence because selling a home and moving may take a long time or may simply not be feasible for some residents.Relationships between Gun Violence and Business Outcomes, Home Values, Homeownership Rates, and Credit Scores within Cities In Minneapolis, each additional gun homicide in a census tract in a given year was associated with 80 fewer jobs the next year.In Oakland, each additional gun homicide in a census tract in a given year was associated with 5 fewer jobs in shrinking businesses the next year.In Washington, DC, every 10 additional gunshots in a census tract in a given year were associated with 20 fewer jobs among new establishments, one less new business opening, and one more business closing the same year.In San Francisco, there was no association between levels of gun violence in census tracts in a given year and business outcomes the next year. Analysis of gun homicides in 2014 and home values, homeownership rates, and credit scores in 2015 demonstrated that each additional gun homicide in a census tract was associated with the following outcomes: A $22,000 decrease in average home values in Minneapolis census tracts and a $24,621 decrease in Oakland census tracts.A 20-point decrease in average credit scores in Minneapolis census tracts and a 9-point decrease in Oakland census tracts.A 3 percent decrease in homeownership rates in Washington, DC, census tracts and a 1 percent decrease in Baton Rouge census tracts.There were no associations between gun homicides in a given year and home values, homeownership rates, and credit scores the next year in Minneapolis, Oakland, San Francisco, or Washington, DC, census tracts from 2009 to 2014 or in Baton Rouge census tracts from 2011 to 2014.
Chicago is currently facing a devastating surge in lethal violence in addition to staggering rates of poverty across Illinois. Policymakers and community leaders are struggling with finding short- and long-term solutions to stem the violence and allow neighborhoods to heal. In the meantime, communities are fearing for their own safety and grieving over lost parents, children, friends, and leaders every day. The stakes forgetting the solutions right could not be higher. Poverty and violence often intersect, feed one another, and share root causes. Neighborhoods with high levels of violence are also characterized by high levels of poverty, lack of adequate public services and educational opportunity, poorer health outcomes, asset and income inequality, and more. The underlying socioeconomic conditions in these neighborhoods perpetuate both violence and poverty. Furthermore, trauma can result from both violence and poverty. Unaddressed trauma worsens quality of life, makes it hard to rise out of poverty by posing barriers to success at school and work, and raises the likelihood of aggressive behavior. In this way, untreated trauma—coupled with easy gun availability and other factors—feeds the cycle of poverty and violence.
This brief updates the armed assault hospital cost estimates with data from 2014, the first year of full implementation of the ACA's major coverage provisions. We provide data for Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Wisconsin; of these, Arizona, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Wisconsin were included in our previous brief. We selected these six states based on data availability, population size, geographic representation, and participation in the ACA Medicaid expansion (table 1). The states reflect a range of decisions on Medicaid coverage: Arizona, Kentucky, and New Jersey adopted the Medicaid expansion in 2014, but Florida, North Carolina, and Wisconsin did not. Arizona had a Section 1115 demonstration waiver in place in 2010 that provided coverage to childless adults with incomes up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Wisconsin also had a Section 1115 demonstration waiver to extend eligibility to 200 percent of FPL, but enrollment for the program was capped as of October 2009. In 2014, Wisconsin used state funds to provide eligibility to childless adults with incomes up to 100 percent of FPL and removed the enrollment cap. Most importantly, all six states have complete data for the analysis from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, described later in this brief.
In 2013, the Center for American Progress conducted a study to assess the correlation between the relative strength or weakness of a state's gun laws, as measured by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and rates of gun violence in the state across 10 categories of gun violence or gun-related crimes. Consistent with the research, the CAP study found a strong correlation between strong gun laws and lower rates of gun violence.In the 3.5 years since that study, a number of things have changed that warrant revisiting that research. Many states have acted to strengthen their gun laws: Since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, eight states have enacted laws to require universal background checks—bringing the total number of states that have enacted such laws to 18—and 20 states have strengthened their laws to help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Unfortunately, other states have taken the opposite approach, loosening laws regarding where guns may be carried and weakening or eliminating concealed carry permit requirements. In addition, improvements made in the collection of data relating to gun violence now allow more precise tracking of events such as mass shootings and fatal shootings by law enforcement officers.In this report, the authors revisit CAP's 2013 analysis with a revised methodology, some new categories of gun violence, and updated state grades from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The report provides a state ranking across key indicators of gun violence, then uses these rankings to calculate an overall Gun Violence Index score for each state. Using this score, the authors assessed the correlation between the rate of overall gun violence in the state and the relative strength or weakness of each state's gun laws.
Young people of color are leading the response to recent instances of gun violence. Young people do not all experience gun violence at the same rate nor do they feel its consequences evenly. Our research on young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 years old highlights the very different experiences young people have with guns, gun violence, and policing across racial and ethnic groups.