In 2010, guns took the lives of 31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings. This is the equivalent of more than 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour.
73,505 Americans were treated in hospital emergency departments for non-fatal gunshot wounds in 2010.
Firearms were the third-leading cause of injury-related deaths nationwide in 2010, following poisoning and motor vehicle accidents.
Between 1955 and 1975, the Vietnam War killed over 58,000 American soldiers – less than the number of civilians killed with guns in the U.S. in an average two-year period.
In the first seven years of the U.S.-Iraq War, over 4,400 American soldiers were killed. Almost as many civilians are killed with guns in the U.S., however, every seven weeks.
Guns were used in 11,078 homicides in the U.S. in 2010, comprising almost 35% of all gun deaths, and over 68% of all homicides.
On average, 33 gun homicides were committed each day for the years 2005-2010.
Regions and states with higher rates of gun ownership have significantly higher rates of homicide than states with lower rates of gun ownership.
Where guns are prevalent, there are significantly more homicides, particularly gun homicides.
Firearms were used in 19,392 suicides in the U.S. in 2010, constituting almost 62% of all gun deaths.
Over 50% of all suicides are committed with a firearm.
On average, 49 gun suicides were committed each day for the years 2005-2010.
White males, about 40% of the U.S. population, accounted for over 80% of firearm suicides in 2010.
A study of California handgun purchasers found that in the first year after the purchase of a handgun, suicide was the leading cause of death among the purchasers.
Firearms were used in nearly 44% of suicide deaths among persons under age 25 in 2010.
More than 75% of guns used in suicide attempts and unintentional injuries of 0-19 year-olds were stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend.
The risk of suicide increases in homes where guns are kept loaded and/or unlocked.
Unintentional Deaths and Injuries
In 2010, unintentional firearm injuries caused the deaths of 606 people.
From 2005-2010, almost 3,800 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings.
Over 1,300 victims of unintentional shootings for the period 2005–2010 were under 25 years of age.
People of all age groups are significantly more likely to die from unintentional firearm injuries when they live in states with more guns, relative to states with fewer guns. On average, states with the highest gun levels had nine times the rate of unintentional firearms deaths compared to states with the lowest gun levels.
A federal government study of unintentional shootings found that 8% of such shooting deaths resulted from shots fired by children under the age of six.
The U.S. General Accounting Office has estimated that 31% of unintentional deaths caused by firearms might be prevented by the addition of two devices: a child-proof safety lock (8%) and a loading indicator (23%).