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

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2017 Homicide Data

June 1, 2020

This study examines the problem of black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information used for this report is for the year 2017. This is the first analysis of the 2017 data on black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of black homicide victims.It is important to note that the SHR data used in this report comes from law enforcement reporting at the local level. While there are coding guidelines followed by the law enforcement agencies, the amount of information submitted to the SHR system, and the interpretation that results in the information submitted (for example, gang involvement) will vary from agency to agency. This study is limited by the quantity and degree of detail in the information submitted.

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).

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.

When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2017 Homicide Data

September 1, 2019

The U.S. Department of Justice has found that women are far more likely to be the victims of violent crimes committed by intimate partners than men, especially when a weapon is involved. Moreover, women are much more likely to be victimized at home than in any other place.This study provides a stark reminder that domestic violence and guns make a deadly combination. According to reports submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), firearms are rarely used to kill criminals or stop crimes. Instead, they are all too often used to inflict harm on the very people they were intended to protect.

Silencers: A Threat to Public Safety (July 2019, revised)

July 1, 2019

This report discusses how a ban on silencers for civilian use would enhance public safety. It also explores the agenda of the gun lobby and firearms industry in an attempt to expand it's market. The explosion in the popularity of silencers has significantly increased the likelihood they will be used in crime. The advantages of using silencers, including reduced noise and increased accuracy, make them attractive to mass shooters, terrorists, and common criminals. In addition, the administrative burden placed on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives diverts resources from the agency's more important regulatory and law enforcement responsibilities. Conversely, silencers serve no sporting purpose.

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)

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2015 Homicide Data

April 1, 2018

The devastation homicide inflicts on black teens and adults is a national crisis, yet it is all too often ignored outside of affected communities. This study examines the problem of black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information used for this report is for the year 2015 and is the most recent data available. This is the first analysis of the 2015 data on black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases inthe 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of black homicide victims. It is important to note that the SHR data used in this report comes from law enforcement reporting at the local level. While there are coding guidelines followed by the law enforcement agencies, the amount of information submitted to the SHR system, and the interpretation that results in the information submitted (for example, gang involvement) will vary from agency to agency. While this study utilizes the best and most recent data available, it is limited by the quantity and degree of detail in the information submitted.

When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2015 Homicide Data

September 1, 2017

Intimate partner violence against women is all too common and takes many forms. The most serious is homicide by an intimate partner. Guns can easily turn domestic violence into domestic homicide. One federal study on homicide among intimate partners found that female intimate partners are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined, concluding that "the figures demonstrate the importance of reducing access to firearms in households affected by IPV [intimate partner violence]." Guns are also often used in non-fatal domestic violence. A study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers analyzed gun use at home and concluded that "hostile gun displays against family members may be more common than gun use in self-defense, and that hostile gun displays are often acts of domestic violence directed against women." The U.S. Department of Justice has found that women are far more likely to be the victims of violent crimes committed by intimate partners than men, especially when a weapon is involved. Moreover, women are much more likely to be victimized at home than in any other place.A woman must consider the risks of having a gun in her home, whether she is in a domestic violence situation or not. While two thirds of women who own guns acquired them "primarily for protection against crime," the results of a California analysis show that "purchasing a handgun provides no protection against homicide among women and is associated with an increase in their risk for intimate partner homicide." A 2003 study about the risks of firearms in the home found that females living with a gun in the home were nearly three times more likely to be murdered than females with no gun in the home. Finally, another study reports, women who were murdered were more likely, not less likely, to have purchased a handgun in the three years prior to their deaths, again invalidating the idea that a handgun has a protective effect against homicide.While this study does not focus solely on domestic violence homicide or guns, it provides a starkreminder that domestic violence and guns make a deadly combination. According to reports submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), firearms are rarely used to kill criminals or stop crimes. Instead, they are all too often used to inflict harm on the very people they were intended to protect.

Silencers: A Threat to Public Safety

June 1, 2017

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.

Purchasing Firearms; Statistics & Surveys

When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2014 Homicide Data

September 1, 2016

Intimate partner violence against women is all too common and takes many forms. The most serious is homicide by an intimate partner. Guns can easily turn domestic violence into domestic homicide. One federal study on homicide among intimate partners found that female intimate partners are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined, concluding that "the figures demonstrate the importance of reducing access to firearms in households affected by IPV [intimate partner violence]." Guns are also often used in non-fatal domestic violence. A study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers analyzed gun use at home and concluded that "hostile gun displays against family members may be more common than gun use in self-defense, and that hostile gun displays are often acts of domestic violence directed against women." The U.S. Department of Justice has found that women are far more likely to be the victims of violent crimes committed by intimate partners than men, especially when a weapon is involved. Moreover, women are much more likely to be victimized at home than in any other place. A woman must consider the risks of having a gun in her home, whether she is in a domestic violence situation or not. While two-thirds of women who own guns acquired them "primarily for protection against crime," the results of a California analysis show that "purchasing a handgun provides no protection against homicide among women and is associated with an increase in their risk for intimate partner homicide." A 2003 study about the risks of firearms in the home found that females living with a gun in the home were nearly three times more likely to be murdered than females with no gun in the home. Finally, another study reports, women who were murdered were more likely, not less likely, to have purchased a handgun in the three years prior to their deaths, again invalidating the idea that a handgun has a protective effect against homicide. While this study does not focus solely on domestic violence homicide or guns, it provides a stark reminder that domestic violence and guns make a deadly combination. According to reports submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), firearms are rarely used to kill criminals or stop crimes. Instead, they are all too often used to inflict harm on the very people they were intended to protect.

Black Homicide Victimization in the U.S.

March 1, 2016

This study examines the problem of black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).1 The information used for this report is for the year 2013 and is the most recent data available. This is the first analysis of the 2013 data on black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of black homicide victims.

Statistics & Surveys