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 Glasgoz is licensed under CC 2.0

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High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines are the Common Thread Running Through Most Mass Shootings in the United States

July 1, 2017

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.

Statistics & Surveys

Reducing Violence and Building Trust: Data to Guide Enforcement of Gun Laws in Baltimore

August 28, 2020

This report is the product of the Reducing Violence, Building Trust: Data to Guide Gun Law Enforcement in Baltimore project. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research (JHCGPR) collected and analyzed data relevant to the enforcement of laws restricting the possession of firearms by prohibited individuals and unlawful carrying of concealed firearms to provide data-driven recommendations for more fair and effective practices. The project was designed to help inform the response to the dual crises in Baltimore—extraordinarily high rates of gun violence, and gun law enforcement practices that, in some cases, have violated the law and more generally weakened community members' trust in the police.

The Other Epidemic: Fatal Police Shootings in the Time of COVID -19

August 18, 2020

This report examines whether circumstances surrounding the public health crisis — unprecedented societal isolation combined with relaxed police department routine enforcement — has led to a change in the frequency with which the police fatally shoot people in the U.S. Using data from The Washington Post's "Fatal Force" database, this report provides national and state-level data on fatal shootings by police since 2015, including during COVID-19. Our analysis reveals that the police have continued to fatally shoot people at the same rate during the first six months of 2020 as they did over the same period from 2015 to 2019. The report also demonstrates that Black, Native American/Indigenous, and Latinx people are still more likely than white people to be shot and killed by police. The report puts forth a set of recommendations designed to reduce police departments' role, presence, responsibilities, and funding, including dramatically transforming use-of-force laws, and instead reinvest into community-based services that are better suited to respond to actual community needs. These measures can lead to a reduction in police interactions, and in turn, help put an end to racist police violence.

The Long-Term Decline of Gun Ownership in America: 1973 to 2018 (published June 2020)

June 1, 2020

Using data from the General Social Survey (GSS) of the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, this report details the long-term decrease in household and personal gun ownership in the United States from 1973 to 2018 (the most recent year for which GSS data is available).

Gun Violence in America

May 19, 2020

Everytown for Gun Safety has compiled scientific research on the impact of gun violence in America. There are data gaps that exist because of underfunding and incomplete data collection at the state and federal level. In order to fully understand the impact of gun violence in the US, it is important to fill these gaps. This report covers the following topics: gun deaths by intent, homicide, children and teens, and domestic violence.

Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use: An Analysis of Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Crime Victimization Survey Data (2020)

May 1, 2020

This report analyzes, on both the national and state levels, the use of firearms in justifiable homicides. It also details the total number of times guns are used for self-defense by the victims of both attempted and completed violent crimes and property crimes whether or not the use of the gun by the victim resulted in a fatality.

Development of the RAND State Firearm Law Database and Supporting Materials

April 15, 2020

The RAND Corporation launched the Gun Policy in America initiative in January 2016 with the goal of creating objective, factual resources for policymakers and the public on the effects of gun laws. Research in this area has often consisted of cross-sectional studies examining how firearm outcomes differ in a particular year across states with different policies. Many fewer studies have used more-powerful longitudinal research designs for evaluating the effects of gun laws, partly because longitudinal data on most state gun laws are not widely available and are difficult and time-consuming to construct. Therefore, as part of the Gun Policy in America initiative, RAND developed a longitudinal data set of state firearm laws that is free to the public, including other researchers, to support improved analysis and understanding of the effects of various laws. In addition, the database is accompanied by a paper that documents the methods that RAND researchers used to construct the database and provides definitions and other information that will facilitate its use.

Gun Violence in America: An Analysis of 2018 CDC Data

February 1, 2020

This report outlines gun death data from 2018, and shows trends over 10 years. The purpose of the report is to share data in an accessible and user-friendly format. All data were accessed using the Centers for Disease Control's Underlying Cause of death database, part of the Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER)database. The Underlying Cause of Death database contains data based on death certificates forUnited States residents. This report is an update to Gun Violence in America: 2018 Data Brief (released January 31, 2020, following the initial release of 2018 mortality data) and includes age-adjusted rates, demographics, and state-by-state breakdowns

2019 Gun Law State Scorecard

January 1, 2020

Each year gun legislation in all 50 states is tracked and analyzed, assigning laws and policies point values. States gain points for strong gun laws and lose points for laws that make their residents less safe. These points are tabulated and the states are ranked and then assigned letter grades. These grades are compared to the most recent gun death rates released by the CDC. Year after year, the evidence shows that states with stronger gun laws tend to have lower gun death rates.

State Firearm Law Navigator

December 4, 2019

Research on the effects of gun laws requires good data on when and where different types of laws have been implemented.To support this type of research, RAND maintains a longitudinal database of state firearm laws, available free to the public. This database was first released in 2018. It is revised regularly and was substantially expanded in 2019.Although the full database includes 17 classes of gun laws and many subcategories of these classes, this visualization illustrates just four: background check, child-access prevention, concealed-carry, and self-defense laws. More laws will be added over time.How it works: Select the type of gun law from the dropdown menu. Move the slider to select a year from 1979 to 2019. Click on a state to see the text of specific laws that were in effect in a given year.

Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017

March 27, 2018

This report covers topics such as victimization, teacher injury, bullying and cyberbullying, school conditions, fights, weapons, availability and student use of drugs and alcohol, student perceptions of personal safety at school, and criminal incidents at postsecondary institutions. Indicators of crime and safety are compared across different population subgroups and over time. Data on crimes that occur away from school are offered as a point of comparison where available.

Estimating the Effects of Law Enforcement and Public Health Interventions Intended to Reduce Gun Violence in Baltimore

January 11, 2018

Baltimore has long been plagued by high rates of homicides, with guns playing an important role. City and law enforcement officials in Baltimore have attributed much of the gun violence to the illegal drug economy and the availability of guns for criminal use. For many years, the most visible and direct approaches employed by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) to curb gun violence have focused on enforcement of drug laws to reduce violent crime associated with the drug trade. In the most ambitious and resource-intensive efforts, the objective of law enforcement actions has been to "take down" or severely weaken organized groups selling illegal drugs through targeted arrests and prosecutions. Such efforts are intended to both remove violent criminals from communities and, ideally, deter violent crime. Most of these targeted drug law enforcement efforts have been place-focused, targeting "hot spots" for homicides and shootings. Within these hot spots, there is often some degree of targeting of individuals believed to be important drivers of gun violence, based on intelligence gathered, individuals' histories of criminal offending, and individuals' criminal associates.In the early 2000s, Baltimore City leadership encouraged aggressive enforcement of drug laws, resulting in the arrests of tens of thousands of individuals for drug possession and drug distribution. However, beginning mid-2007, the BPD shifted its focus to initiatives aimed at apprehending violent criminals and targeting illegal gun possession. We used data from January 1, 2003, through December 23, 2017, to estimate the effects of place-focused policing and prevention initiatives that were focused on criminal offending involving guns and/or drugs to estimate the effects of those interventions on homicides and nonfatal shootings. An overview of the specific interventions assessed in this study follows.