Facts

Arguing with someone who is convinced that guns make us safer can be a dispiriting experience. When it's not a dialogue, it's better not to engage. Still, being aware of the statistics and reality of gun violence is a reaffirmation of the importance of our work, and can be useful. The facts are on our side – guns don't make us safer.

Fact Sheet

  • Reports done by the FBI and the CDC show in 2013 more preschool children from newborns to 5 years old were killed than police officers in the line of duty. 
  • In 2013, 1,670 children (age 0 to 18 years) died by gunshot and an additional 9,718 were injured.
  • In a majority of unintentional child gun deaths, the shooter was also a minor. The shooter was 14 or under in 73 percent of incidents. 
  • Since 2013, there have been at least 159 school shootings in America — an average of nearly one a week.
  • More than 44 million Americans own firearms. Of the 192 million firearms owned in the United States, 65 million are handguns. 
  • A gun kept in the home is far more likely to kill someone known to the family than to kill or injure an intruder, and triples the risk of homicide. 
  • 1,700,000 children live with unlocked or loaded guns.
  • The risk of suicide is 5 times more likely if a gun is kept in the home. More than 75 percent of guns used by youth in suicide attempts were kept in the home of the victim, a relative, or a friend.
  • From December 2012 to December 2013, at least 100 children were killed in unintentional shootings — almost two each week. And even this larger number reflects just a fraction of the total number of children injured or killed with guns in the U.S. each year, regardless of the intent.
  • 65 percent of unattended deaths took place in a home or vehicle that belonged to the victim’s family. Another 19 percent took place in the home of a relative or friend of the victim.
  • 70 percent (62 of 89 cases) could have been prevented if the firearm had been stored locked and unloaded. 
  • A Harvard survey of children in gun-owning households found that more than 70 percent of children under age 10 knew where their parents stored their guns — even when they were hidden — and 36 percent of the children reported handling the weapons. 
  • 39 percent of parents who thought their child was unaware of the location of the household’s gun were contradicted by their children.
  • One of every five parents who believed their child had not handled the gun was mistaken. 
  • 68 percent of school shooters acquired their guns from their home, or that of a relative.
  • States that restrict assault weapons also have the lowest per capita homicide rates. However, because guns are easily trafficked in interstate and international commerce, federal rules are needed.