Brady Campaign Lays Out Gun Fact Basics

Lots of guns with few gun control laws equals senseless gun deaths and
injuries.  Learn the basic facts about the number of firearms in the United
States and its impact on public health and safety.

Guns in the United States - Easy Access to Deadly Weapons

8 Currently, an estimated 34.5% of households have a gun 1, while 24% have a handgun.2

8 As of 2004, there were approximately 283 million privately owned firearms in the U.S -- 40 percent of them handguns.3

8 In 1998 alone, licensed firearms dealers sold an estimated 4.4 million guns, 1.7 million of which were handguns.4 Additionally, it is estimated that 1 to 3 million guns change hands in the secondary market each year, and many of these sales are not regulated.5

Gun Deaths and Injury - The United States Leads the World in Firearm Violence

* In 2005, 30,694 people in the United States died from firearm-related deaths – 12,352 were murdered; 17,002 killed themselves; 789 were accidents; 330 died by police intervention, and in 221, the intent was unknown. 6 In comparison, 33,651 Americans were killed in the Korean War and 58,193 Americans were killed in the Vietnam War.7

* An additional 71,417 people were shot and survived their injuries -- 52,748 people injured in an attack; 3,190 people injured in a suicide attempt; 14,678 people shot accidentally, and 801 people shot in a police intervention.8

* In 2004, firearms were used to murder 56 people in Australia, 184 people in Canada, 73 people in England and Wales, 5 people in New Zealand, and 37 people in Sweden.9 In comparison, firearms were used to murder 11,344 in the United States.10

* In 2006, there were only 154 justifiable homicides by private citizens using handguns in the United States.11

Gun Violence - Young Lives Cut Short

* In 2005, nearly 8 children and teenagers, ages 19 and under, were killed with guns everyday.12

* In 2005, firearm homicide was the second leading cause of injury death for men and women 10-24 years of age - second only to motor vehicle crashes.13

* In 2005, firearm homicide was the leading cause of death for black males ages 15-34.14

* From 1999 through 2005, an average of over 1,000 children and teenagers took their own lives with guns each year.15

* Each year during 1993 through 1997, an average of 1,621 murderers who had not reached their 18th birthdays took someone's life with a gun.16

Guns in the Home - A Greater Risk to Family and Friends

* For every time a gun is used in a home in a legally-justifiable shooting [note that every self-defense is legally justifiable] there are 22 criminal, unintentional, and suicide-related shootings.17

* The presence of a gun in the home triples the risk of homicide in the home.18

* The presence of a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide fivefold.19

The Economic Costs of Gun Violence - All Americans Pay a High Price

* A study of all direct and indirect costs of gun violence including medical, lost wages, and security costs estimates that gun violence costs the nation $100 billion a year.20

* The average total cost of one gun crime can be as high as $1.79 million, including medical treatment and the prosecution and imprisonment of the shooter.21

* At least 80 percent of the economic costs of treating firearm injuries are paid for by taxpayer dollars.22,23

To read the references for this article, click here.



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