For the second year in a row, American firearm deaths remained relatively steady at an all time high, at 39,740 people including 24,432 by suicide and 13,958 by homicide, according to newly released data from the Centers of Disease Control.
In a new analysis of the 2018 data, The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence has now released Gun Violence in America: An Analysis of 2018 CDC Data to examine the deadly toll of gun violence that kills 103 Americans each day. Notably, for the first time, the number of firearm suicide deaths in a year exceeded 24,000 — more than twice the number of alcohol-impaired driving deaths in 2018. On average, this amounts to 67 people dying by firearm suicide every day — more than the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Dakota Jablon, Director of Federal Affairs for Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, said, “The number of Americans dying by firearm suicide is now at an all-time high, as more than 24,000 Americans died by firearm suicide in 2018. This number is more than twice the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities we saw in 2018, but firearm suicide does not receive the same amount of attention to prevention strategies.” Jablon continues, “Firearm suicide is preventable. Our elected officials must act to address this disturbing upward trend by passing evidence-based policies like Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws in every state
The Ed Fund’s comprehensive report delves into newly released data to illustrate the fatal toll of the gun violence epidemic in America. Major findings include:
24,432 Americans died by firearm suicide in 2018, 67 people every day.
3,342 children and teens (ages 0-19) died by gun violence in 2018 — 9 each day.
Wyoming had the highest firearm suicide rate, followed by Montana, Alaska, and Idaho.
13,958 Americans were murdered by firearms in 2018 — more than 38 people every day.
While the 2018 numbers show a slight decrease in overall firearm deaths for the first time since 2014, it still illustrates our national shame. Americans continue to die from gun violence at devastatingly high rates. We must use this data to craft strong, evidence-based policies that will stop gun violence in all its forms.
Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Josh Horwitz, remarked, “While overall firearm homicide deaths decreased, the data continues to show the epidemic of firearm homicide. This is especially true within communities of color. Black males ages 20-34 are 17 times more likely to die from firearm homicide than White males of the same age. This is unacceptable. Officials at all levels of government should commit to addressing firearm homicide by investing in and providing resources for violence intervention programs and funding to combat deep-rooted social inequities.”