This special collection brings together evidence and insights from nonprofits, foundations, and research organizations working to understand the full impact of firearm use and gun violence in the US. By providing us with analyses of current state and federal laws as well as valuable data on suicides, homicides, accidents, and mass shootings, these organizations seek to inform sound public policy and to curb this ongoing public health epidemic.

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"Gun Violence" by M+R Glasgow licensed under CC 2.0

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Addressing the root causes of gun violence with American Rescue Plan funds: Lessons from state and local governments

August 15, 2022

In June 2022, the most significant piece of gun violence prevention legislation in decades, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, became law. Alongside several common-sense gun regulations, the law allocates $250 million for community-based violence prevention initiatives—a promising step toward promoting safety through non-carceral and community-centered approaches.This federal action is important, but it only scratches the surface of what can be done to keep communities safe from gun violence. From investing in youth employment programs to revitalizing vacant lots to improving the quality of neighborhood housing, a wealth of community-based safety interventions are proven to reduce violent crime—including gun violence—in the places most impacted by it, and tackle the conditions of inequality that allow violence to concentrate in the first place. But far too often, these community-based interventions are under-funded, particularly when compared to more punitive approaches.Luckily, another source of federal aid can fund community-based safety investments: the American Rescue Plan's (ARP) $350 billion in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. In addition to helping states and localities recover from the pandemic, the funds also provide local leaders with an unparalleled opportunity to address the public health crisis of gun violence.This research brief documents how state and local leaders are leveraging ARP funds to invest in non-carceral community-based safety initiatives; presents perspectives and case studies from leaders on-the-ground innovating on such strategies; and offers recommendations for how state and local leaders can maximize ARP funds to promote community safety prior to 2024 (when all funds must be obligated) and 2026 (when all funds must be spent). This is an unparalleled—and time-limited—window of opportunity, and states and localities should be thinking strategically right now about how to not only invest in proven strategies to reduce gun violence, but also promote life-affirming safety investments that support thriving communities.

Gun Violence in the Great Lakes States

April 1, 2019

This report offers select data on lethal gun violence in states located in the Great Lakes region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) drawn from Violence Policy Center (VPC) publications issued in 2018 as well as additional research. Types of gun death detailed in this report are: overall gun death (suicides, homicides, and unintentional deaths); homicide; suicide; black homicide victimization; females killed by males; and, examples of non-self defense killings involving concealed handgun permit holders (for the years 2016, 2017, and 2018)

Assault Weapons, Mass Shootings, and Options for Lawmakers

March 22, 2019

The focus of this brief is assault-style rifles, the new gun control measures passed in the U.S. at the end of 2018, the little to no action taken by the federal government, and actions taken by individual states to ban and regulate the sale and possession of assault-style weapons.

A Neighborhood-Level Analysis of the Economic Impact of Gun Violence

June 1, 2017

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.

Statistics & Surveys

The Economic Cost of Gun Violence in Minnesota: A Business Case for Action

December 1, 2016

From 2010 to 2014, our state suffered an average of 389 gun-related deaths per year—more than one death per day. In addition, 533 Minnesotans per year were the victims of non-fatal shootings that often cause debilitating, life-long injuries. 1 That's a total of 922 firearm deaths and injuries every year in our state.When we lose family, friends, or neighbors to gun violence, we feel tremendous pain. When we hear about an innocent bystander who will never walk again because of a stray bullet, we are rightly outraged. But gun violence doesn't just shake us emotionally and morally—it also imposes enormous financial costs and generates vicious cycles of fear and flight that damage our economy.The Economic Cost of Gun Violence in Minnesota: A Business Case for Action documents the staggering economic price that Minnesotans pay each year on account of gun violence. Immediately after a trigger is pulled, the bills begin to pile up: healthcare costs to repair shattered limbs and punctured organs, law enforcement and criminal justice expenses to investigate violent gun crimes and incarcerate offenders, costs incurred by businesses to cover for seriously injured or dead employees, and lost employee wages.

The Effect of Gun Violence on Local Economies

November 1, 2016

We already know that gun violence exacts enormous costs. The fear of gun violence, and people's perceived risk, has been shown to impose heavy social, psychological, and monetary burdens on individuals that translate into monetary costs to society. We also know the health care costs of treating gunshot injuries: just under $630 million i n 2010 (Howell and Abraham 2013). American society collectively pays all these costs. Yet we know comparatively little about the relationship between gun violence and the economic health of neighborhoods at the most grassroots levels ; we don't know how businesses, jobs, and many more indicators of economic health respond to increased levels of gun violence. Could gun violence cause economic downturns? In communities and neighborhoods most affected by gun violence, does the presence of gun violence hold back business growth?To answer these important research questions at the neighborhood level, we assemble d gun violence and establishment data at the census tract level in six US cities. This report presents the initial findings of an in - depth analysis of the relationship bet ween gun violence and local economic health in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Oakland, California; and Washington, DC . Our findings indicate a significant relationship between gun violence and the ability of businesses to open, operate, and grow in the affected communities. The data and research findings from this study can lend a new, economically driven lens to the debate on gun safety and gun control