Get The Facts

More than 38,000 people die from gun violence each year. And while mass shootings get most of the news attention, that’s a fraction of the problem. Here we share information about the impact of gun violence on families in our country and our region, and bust some myths about the gun violence debate.

Additional information is available from resources such as The Trace; the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence; “America Under Fire,” a 2016 analysis from the Center for American Progress; States United to Prevent Gun Violence; and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also collects broad facts about gun violence but is blocked by Congress from collecting substantive information. GAGV supports funding for the CDC to engage in research about gun violence as the public health issue it truly is.


Facts matter. That’s why knowing the facts about gun violence is so important as we educate ourselves and others about its impact, advocate for common sense gun laws and participate in programs that make our communities safer for everyone, including our children and grandchildren. 

Download a pdf print file of these facts.

The impact of guns in the U.S.

  • Every year 100,000 people in America are shot; 38,000 of them die, 104 people every day.
    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Of those 38,000 gun-related deaths, 62% are suicides (about 23,500), 35% are homicides (about 13,300) and 3% to 4% are accidental shootings (about 1,200).
    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Americans own 265 million firearms, a number steadily rising the past 20 years.
    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Guns are the 3rd leading cause of injury-related deaths nationwide behind poisoning and motor vehicle accidents.
    Source: The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

The impact of guns on children in U.S. homes

  • 4.5 million children live in homes with at least one loaded, unlocked gun.
    Source: NY Academy of Medicine
  • Every day 19 children ages 17 and younger are shot; 7 die from their injuries.
    Source: Pediatrics Journal
  • At least once a week a toddler shoots a gun, killing or injuring someone.
    Source: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
  • Children are more likely to be killed by a gun in their own home than anywhere else.
    Source: The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Firearms are the second leading cause of injury-related deaths in children 17 and younger. Only motor vehicle accidents kill more children.
    Source: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
  • A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to kill or injure someone in a domestic dispute, suicide or accidental shooting than it is to be used in self-defense.
    Source: The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence

The impact of guns on public health & safety in the U.S.

  • Suicide attempts using a gun are fatal 80% of the time.
    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • From 2013 through 2017, there were 290 shootings in schools or on college campuses involving fatal & non-fatal assaults, suicides and unintentional shootings, about one every week.
    Source: Everytown For Gun Safety
  • Most school shootings occur with a gun belonging to someone in the family, usually a parent.
    Source: Law Center for the Prevention of Gun Violence
  • Only about 4% of gun deaths result from mental health issues.
    Source: The New York Times
  • Of the 50 states, Missouri ranks #15 and Kansas #18 in levels of gun violence.
    Source: The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
  • In 2015, Missouri ranked #2 in the nation for unintentional shootings of and by children.
    Source: The Washington Post

The impact of strong gun laws in the U.S.

  • Since 1993, background checks have blocked the sale of 3 million guns to prohibited buyers.
    Source: The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
  • In states with mandatory background checks for all gun purchases, suicides and gun-related deaths declined by 49%.
    Source: The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
  • The current background check system applies only to about 60% of gun sales, leaving 40% of gun sales (online and gun shows) with no background checks.
    Source: The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
  • 90% of Americans and 74% of NRA members support background checks for all gun purchases.
    Source: The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Kansas & Missouri tied for 48th place in ranking the strength of gun laws in the 50 states.
    Source: The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

The U.S compared to other countries

  • America’s gun homicide rate is 25 times the average of other high-income nations.
    Source: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
  • American children are 12 times more likely to be killed by a gun than children in other countries.
    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Being killed by a gun in Japan is as likely as being killed by lightning in the U.S., roughly one in a million.
    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • In 2008, civilians in the U.S. had 88 firearms per 100 people; Japan had less than 1 gun per 100.
    Source: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime