The National Cost of Gun Violence: The Price Tag for Taxpayers

Feb 27, 2023
  • Description

NICJR has calculated the costs of shootings in numerous cities across the country, deliberately using conservative estimates and only counting documentable direct costs. Using these studies as a starting point, this report aggregates the city-specific data and combines it with other data sources to model the direct unit costs and the direct average costs of gun violence nationwide.

Unit costs reflect all of the potential costs of a single incident of gun violence, while average costs take into account the fact that certain costs are not incurred for every incident. For example, this report estimates the costs that gun violence imposes on the courts, district attorney, and public defender when a suspect is charged and goes to trial. However, because many incidents of gun violence do not result in prosecution or a trial, these estimates, or unit costs, are deflated to calculate the average cost per shooting.