There is a painfully high amount of gun-related violence in the United States annually. Some deaths are point-blank murders, many are suicides, and many gun-related deaths happen by accident due to negligent behavior or children getting their hands on weapons and firing a shot without knowing any better.
Many states in the U.S. do not have strong firearm laws or strict gun ownership rules. As a result, an abundance of gun-related injuries occur in states where gun laws aren't strong.
Gun violence statistics across the United States are alarming. About seventy-two percent of all murders across the nation involve the use of guns. According to the Department of Justice, 60% of adult firearm deaths are by suicide. The U.S. has more than 33,000 gun deaths per year. In 2017, there were 39,773 deaths by firearms, the highest since 1986. Of these deaths, 23,854 were by suicide, and 14,542 were homicides, 12 deaths per 100,000 people, and seven deaths per 100,000 people.
Suicides account for the highest number of gun-related deaths by state in the United States of America. Most suicides are done with firearms of some type that were also the registered and licensed owners of the weapons. Research has uncovered a correlation between people in states with lower population densities and a higher likelihood of suicides. The thought behind this finding is that lower population densities mean lower rates of loneliness, isolation, and lack of purpose.
On this note, the states with the highest suicide rates are Montana, Alaska, and Wyoming and various smaller cities in midwestern states of America. On the other end of the spectrum, states with large population sizes and even larger population density values, such as New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, have the lowest suicide rates in the United States.
Firearm deaths per year are not just reflections of citizens failing to get along or respect each other's rights to life. Firearms have also been involved in the attempted assassinations of 11 U.S. presidents. Bullet wounds killed four presidents. Three handguns and one rifle were the weapons of choice for shooting, injuring, and ultimately killing four U.S. presidents (Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Kennedy).
What percentage of Americans own guns? The United States has the highest percentage of gun ownership worldwide. There are 120 firearms per 100 people in the U.S., with 30% of Americans owning at least one gun and 43%. That means that the majority of gun owners own more than one firearm. According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of gun owners own more than one firearm, and 29% own five or more.
How many Americans own guns? There are over 98 million gun owners in the United States. There are more guns than there are people in the United States, with over 390 million guns for 327 million people. This means that the 98 million gun owners often own more than one gun.
Numbers in this article are provided by the CDC and are from 2019.
States with the Most Gun Deaths
The five states with the highest gun death rates are:
- Alaska - 24.4 deaths per 100,000
- Mississippi - 24.2 deaths per 100,000
- Wyoming - 22.3 deaths per 100,000
- New Mexico - 22.3 deaths per 100,000
- Alabama - 22.2 deaths per 100,000
Of these states, Wyoming has the highest gun ownership rate of 64.5%, followed by Alaska with 64.5%. Mississippi's gun ownership rate is 55.8%, New Mexico's is 46.2%, and Alabama's is 55.5%.
States with the Fewest Gun Deaths
The five states with the lowest gun death rates are:
- Massachusetts - 3.4 deaths per 100,000
- New York - 3.9 deaths per 100,000
- New Jersey - 4.1 deaths per 100,000
- Hawaii - 4.4 deaths per 100,000
- Rhode Island - 4.6 deaths per 100,000
These five states also have the lowest gun ownership rates in the U.S. Massachusetts and New Jersey have the lowest at 14.7% each, followed by Rhode Island with 14.8%. Hawaii's gun ownership rate is 14.9%, and New York's is 19.9%. These are the only states with gun ownership rates below 20%.
Rhode Island had the lowest number of gun deaths, with 48. Hawaii followed 62 and Vermont with 67. Both Delaware and North Dakota had 93 gun deaths. These are the only five states that had fewer than 100 gun deaths in 2019.