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Homicide Trends, Weapons Used in the U.S.

Homicides are most often committed with guns, especially handguns

Like the homicide rate generally, gun-involved incidents increased sharply in the late 1980's and early 1990's before falling to a low in 1999. The number of gun-involved homicides increased thereafter to levels experienced in the mid 1980's. During this same time period, homicides involving weapons other than firearms have declined slightly.

Gun homicides by teens and young adults rose sharply beginning with the mid-1980's and fell after the early 1990's

1) Gun homicides by persons 18-24 years old declined after the peak in 1993 but have not returned to the levels seen prior to the mid 1980's.

2) The trend in nongun homicides shows little change, declining or fluctuating slightly for all age groups.

3) Gun homicides by adults 25 and older declined through 1999, but have increased since then.

4) The sharp increase in homicides from the mid-1980's through the early 1990's and much of the subsequent decline is attributable to gun violence by juveniles and young adults.

Homicides of teens and young adults are more likely to be committed with a gun than homicides of persons of other ages

The percentage of homicide victims killed with a gun increases with age up to age 17 and declines thereafter.

Note: The victims of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks are not included in this analysis.
Source: FBI, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 1976-2005.

To read the original report from the U.S. Department of Justice Statistics, click here

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