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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The Rise of Firearm Suicide Among Young Americans

June 2, 2022

Firearm suicide is having a devastating impact on American youth. Over the past decade, the firearm suicide rate among young people has increased faster than among any other age group. Today, youth firearm suicide has reached its highest rate in more than 20 years. As students continue to navigate changes in school learning environments--a result of the ongoing challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic--there is concern that the anxiety and loneliness already felt by many young people will continue to increase. This comes at the same time as an unprecedented surge in gun sales in the US, raising concern about the already growing rates of firearm suicide.But suicide, including firearm suicide, can be prevented. We know that removing access to firearms, a particularly lethal means, is the easiest and quickest intervention. We can save lives by implementing policies that limit easy and immediate access to firearms, increasing awareness of suicide risk factors, improving access to culturally appropriate mental health care, and supporting America's youth.

Red Flag Laws: Helping Prevent Mass Shootings

March 27, 2018

Like many mass shooters, the 19-year-old suspected of shooting and killing at least 17 people and injuring 17 others at a high school in Parkland, Florida displayed warning signs prior to the shooting. According to media reports, the alleged shooter was known to have firearms, and his mother had contacted law enforcement regarding his behavior on multiple occasions. Unfortunately, at the time Florida did not have a Red Flag Law—a policy increasingly being adopted by states that empowers family members and law enforcement to seek an Extreme Risk Protection Order, a court order temporarily restricting a person's access to guns when they pose a danger to self or others. Like Florida—which enacted its own Red Flag Law with bipartisan support in March 2018—states around the country are turning to the policy as a common-sense way to help reduce gun violence and gun suicide. Six states have Red Flag Laws in place—and bills are currently pending in another 22 states.Red Flags Laws can save lives by creating a way for family members and law enforcement to act before warning signs escalate into tragedies.

Arming Teachers Is a Dangerous Proposal

March 12, 2018

Schools are meant to be places of sanctuary, safety, and learning for children. But, as the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, shows, children are also victims of America's gun violence crisis, even while attending school.After shootings like Parkland, and as a way to further their "guns everywhere" agenda, the NRA takes every opportunity to push for policies that would arm teachers. There is no evidence that arming teachers will protect children in schools. To the contrary, research indicates that arming teachers will make children less safe.This is why school safety experts—including teachers, school resource officers, and law enforcement organizations—oppose the policy. If lawmakers want to prevent school shootings, they must adopt proactive, commonsense solutions to prevent people with dangerous histories from obtaining guns in the first place.

Mass Shootings in the United States: 2009-2016

April 1, 2017

To better assess the reality of mass shootings in the United States—and to identify policies which could prevent them from occurring in the first place— Everytown analyzed every mass shooting we were able to identify in the United States from 2009-2016. This analysis uncovered the following findings:From 2009-2016 in the U.S., there have been 156 mass shootings — incidents in which four or more people were shot and killed, not including the shooter. These incidents resulted in 1,187 victims shot: 848 people were shot and killed, and 339 people were shot and injured. In addition, 66 perpetrators killed themselves after a mass shooting, and another 17 perpetrators were shot and killed by responding law enforcement.The majority of mass shootings— 54 percent of cases—were related to domestic or family violence.Mass shootings significantly impacted children: 25 percent of mass shooting fatalities (211) were children. This is primarily driven by mass shootings related to domestic or family violence, in which over 40 percent of fatalities were children.In nearly half of the shootings— 42 percent of cases—the shooter exhibited warning signs before the shooting indicating that they posed a danger to themselves or others. These red flags included acts, attempted acts, or threats of violence towards oneself or others; violations of protective orders; or evidence of ongoing substance abuse.More than one-third of the shootings— 34 percent—involved a shooter who was prohibited from possessing firearms.Only ten percent of incidents took place in "gun-free zones" , or areas where civilians are prohibited from carrying firearms and there is not a regular armed law enforcement presence (armed security guards, for example). The vast majority of incidents—63 percent—took place entirely in private homes.These findings reaffirm the value of gun violence prevention policies that address the circumstances underlying mass shootings: strong domestic violence laws that keep guns away from abusers, mechanisms that allow for the temporary removal of guns from individuals who have exhibited dangerous recent behavior, and background checks on all firearm sales to prevent people who are prohibited from having guns from buying them.

Danger in the Land of Enchantment: Investigating Online Gun Sales in New Mexico

February 17, 2017

In October 2016, a violent felon from Deming tried to buy a gun. He had recently served time in prison for three felonies related to a domestic violence incident: armed with a revolver, he choked his fiancée, told her he would break her neck, and tried to force her into the trunk of her car. His felony convictions made it illegal for him to buy or possess firearms — but now he was online and actively shopping for a Glock handgun. If he had tried to buy one at a licensed dealer, where background checks are legally required, his felony convictions would have blocked the sale. Instead, he turned to online ads—where, because of a loophole in the law in New Mexico, gun sales can be arranged with no background check required.Policymakers have long recognized that it's dangerous for people with a felony conviction, a history of domestic abuse, or serious mental illness to have guns. People with such records, like the man described above, are legally prohibited from buying or possessing guns. That's why licensed gun dealers—Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods, or any of the hundreds of local gun stores across New Mexico—are legally required to contact the background check system to run a check on every buyer. When someone who is not allowed to have a gun attempts to make a purchase, the background check blocks the sale.But there's a problem with this system. In New Mexico, because of a dangerous loophole in the law—referred to as the background check loophole—background checks are not required when guns are sold by individuals who are not licensed dealers. These sales are called "unlicensed" gun sales, and they aren't just taking place between friends or neighbors—they're taking place on the internet. Websites like Armslist.com, the "Craigslist for guns," provide a platform for unlicensed gun sales to be arranged online, between strangers. Because of the background check loophole, criminals can turn to these online unlicensed sales to arm themselves illegally, no background check required, no questions asked.

Thousands of Guns, No Background Check Required: An Analysis of The Market for Unlicensed Gun Sales in Maine

September 1, 2016

The state of Maine has a strong tradition of gun ownership. And Maine's gun owners know that responsible ownership includes keeping guns out of the wrong hands. That's why 93% of Americans—and the majority of Mainers, regardless of political party—agree: all gun buyers should pass a criminal background check.It is illegal under both federal law and Maine law for certain dangerous people—like felons, domestic abusers, the dangerously mentally ill, and fugitives—to buy or possess guns. The federal background check system was created to enforce the prohibition on those dangerous people and block them from buying guns. And it works: since the background check system was implemented, it has blocked nearly three million gun sales across the country to people legally prohibited from having firearms, including at least 5,501 sales in Maine alone.But there's a problem. Background check laws were written decades ago, and they only apply if you buy from gun dealers—and not if you buy from people without dealer licenses. That makes sense when you're selling to your brother or giving a gift to your daughter. But gun sales and transfers aren't just taking place between family or at gun dealers: when an unlicensed seller posts a classified ad selling a gun, anyone can respond–and can buy that gun with no background check, no questions asked.

Strategies for Reducing Gun Violence in American Cities

June 1, 2016

Urban gun violence touches on issues central to American life: safety, equality, opportunity, and community. As thousands of city residents are killed or injured with guns each year, mayors and other community leaders face an urgent challenge: finding effective solutions and implementing them to make a difference now and into the future. This report, a collaboration between Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and the National Urban League, is a tool for all city leaders who want to reduce gun violence.First, the report summarizes much of what is known about urban gun violence: its causes, the ways it differs from violence in other settings, and the ways it undercuts many other aspects of city life. It is not the intent of this report to explain all the variation in gun violence across cities; instead, it is a primer for cities that want to act today, in spite of uncertainty. Far from presenting novel ideas, it brings together the knowledge of academic researchers, community activists, nonprofit leaders, and civil servants who have been addressing gun violence in cities for decades.Second, the report describes seven strategies that dozens of cities have taken to reduce gun violence in their communities, drawing on specific case studies. The identified interventions address factors known to contribute to urban gun violence, are supported by a growing body of evidence, and can each be a part of any city's larger strategy for reducing gun violence. This is not a comprehensive account of the hard work taking place in communities across the country, the volume of which is impossible to capture, but these case studies demonstrate that cities can learn from one another, building on successes, and informed by a growing body of evidence.

Analysis of School Shootings

January 1, 2016

In 2013, Everytown began tracking gunfire in schools and at college and universities — public reports that a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds — and over the next three years identified 160 qualifying incidents, including fatal and nonfatal assaults, suicides, and unintentional shootings. In all, these incidents resulted in 59 deaths and 124 non-fatal gunshot injuries.Regardless of the individuals involved in a shooting, or the circumstances that gave rise to it, gunfire in schools and at colleges and universities undermines the sense of security that all students should have in their learning environments. By tracking this data, Everytown hopes to begin a reasoned discussion about effective means to promote school safety.Of shootings perpetrated by minors at primary and secondary schools and for which the source of the firearm was known, more than half of the kids obtained the gun at home — likely because an adult did not store it locked and unloaded .Twenty-four shootings — nearly one in six — occurred after a confrontation or verbal argument intensified, because of the presence of a gun rather than in spite of it.

Beyond Gridlock: How White House Action on Gun Violence Can Save Lives

October 5, 2015

This report answers the President's call, and offers five life-saving measures that the Administration could advance today to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.These five critical and simple steps would: keep dangerous people with guns out of our schools; crack down on gun trafficking and curb the sale of guns without background checks; ensure that law enforcement identifies and prosecutes the most dangerous criminals who try to illegally obtain guns; help states to enforce their own background check laws; and ensure that all convicted domestic abusers are prohibited from possessing guns. A comprehensive list of these and other recommended executive actions is set forth in the appendix to this report.

Policy Recommendations & Models

Analysis of School Shootings: December 15, 2012 - December 9, 2014

April 9, 2015

Regardless of the individuals involved in a shooting or the circumstances that gave rise to it, gunfire in our schools shatters the sense of security that these institutions are meant to foster. Everyone should agree that even one school shooting is one too many.In this report, incidents were classified as school shootings when a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds, as documented by the press or confirmed through further inquiries with law enforcement. Incidents in which guns were brought into schools but not fired, or were fired off school grounds after having been possessed in schools, were not included.Over the course of two years, we identified a total of three incidents in which a private citizen discharged a firearm at a school that was ultimately determined to be self-defense -- February 4, 2013 at Martin Luther King, Jr., High School in Detroit, MI, January 30, 2014 at Eastern Florida State College, and April 7, 2014 at Eastern New Mexico University. These three incidents were not included in the analysis.

Statistics & Surveys

Federally Mandated Concealed Carry Reciprocity: How Congress Could Undercut State Laws On Guns In Public

January 23, 2015

This report discusses states rights vs. federally mandated concealed carry reciprocity in determing permit laws for people who carry hidden or concealed guns. Determining who is too dangerous to carry a hidden, loaded gun in public is among the most important judgments that a state government can make, and exercising that police power is among the most basic of states' rights. Under current law, each state makes its own determinations about who can carry a concealed, loaded weapon in public, including deciding which other states' permits to recognize. But dangerous legislation introduced in Congress would interfere with states' rights and let the federal government dictate to each and every state who can carry hidden, loaded guns within its borders. Under this proposed "concealed carry reciprocity" legislation, the federal government would force every state to recognize concealed carry permits issued by every other state -- no matter how lax or ineffective a given state's permitting standards. Federally mandated concealed carry reciprocity would upend each state's carefully considered judgments about public safety. Under this scheme, even if a state has determined that public safety requires live-fire training for permit holders, the state would have to allow permit-holders from other states without any training requirement to carry guns on their streets. States that determined teenagers too young to buy alcohol or criminals convicted of assault or stalking should not be granted concealed carry permits would have to allow such people with out-of-state permits to carry hidden, loaded guns within their borders. Federally mandated concealed carry reciprocity would be a severe encroachment on states' rights. It offends the basic traditions of federalism on which the country was founded.

Policy Recommendations & Models