41 Astounding Gun Control Statistics

Have you seen the Skittles meme regarding Syrian immigrants being accepted into the United States? It goes something like this: “If you have a bowl full of Skittles, but just 10 of them are poisoned, would you eat the candy? Or would you throw it all away?”

When it comes to gun violence in the United States, there would actually be 1,000 poisoned Skittles in that bowl. More than 10,000 people in the US are killed in an act of gun violence every year and thousands more take their own lives through the use of a gun.

In our world today, there are many threats that get reported which can cause personal concern. We want to be able to protect ourselves. These gun control statistics also show that we must look at why gun violence occurs, what we can do to stop it, and how we can prevent future acts of mass murder that are committed by Americans and not international terrorists.

Statistics About Gun Control

1. The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population, but it controls up to 50% of the world’s civilian-owned guns. (CFR)

2. From 2007 data, there are 88.8 firearms in the United States for every 100 people. (CFR)

3. The United States has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate in the world’s most developed nations. The US experiences 3.54 homicides per 100,000 people by firearms. Israel comes in second in this category, at 1.04 firearm homicides per 100,000 people. In comparison, the UK rate of firearm homicides is 0.06 per 100,000 people and Australia’s is 0.16 per 100,000 people. (CFR)

4. Suicides often occur when there is an undiagnosed mental health condition present. 60% of gun deaths that occur in the United States occur from a firearm-related suicide. (CFR)

5. In 2000, 67% of people on a gun control survey stated that they supported some form of gun control. In 2016, that figure had dropped to 46%. (Pew)

6. Since 2010, the number of Americans who support gun rights expansion is about equal to the number of Americans who support some form of gun control. (Pew)

7. In 2015, 12,942 people had been killed in the United States in either a firearm-related homicide, an unintentional shooting, or a suicide. There have been another 50,000 incidents of gun violence that did not involve a fatality. (The Trace)

8. On the average day in the United States, 36 people are going to be killed by guns and this is a number that excludes most suicides. (Gun Violence Archive)

9. From 2005-2015, there were over 301,000 people who were killed by gun violence on US soil. In comparison, there were just 71 people killed in terrorist attacks on US soil. (Politifact)

10. Of the estimated 371 million firearms that are owned by law enforcement officials and civilians in the United States, 146 million of them are handguns. (Just Facts)

11. 52% of all new guns that are sold to US civilians and law enforcement officials are handguns, from 2014 data. In comparison, 35% of the guns sold in 2000 were handguns. (Just Facts)

12. According to self-declared ownership data, 45% of men say that they own a firearm, compared to just 15% of women. (Gallup)

13. People who are Caucasian/White and identify as a Republican are more likely to own a gun than someone who is of a racial or cultural minority and identifies as a Democrat. 1 in 3 people who are Caucasian/White self-report owning a gun, compared to 22% of non-white individuals. 38% of Republicans, compared to 22% of Democrats, self-report owning a gun. (Gallup)

14. 31% of political independents in the United States say that they own at least one gun. (Gallup)

15. 60% of people who own a gun say that their primary reason for ownership is to have protection against a crime. 36% say that they use their guns primarily for hunting, while 21% say that their gun is for recreational or target shooting. (Gallup)

16. 68% of the murders that are committed in the United States on any given year are committed with a firearm. (Just Facts)

17. In the past 5 years, 0.5% of American households had someone use a gun for self-defense I a situation where they thought someone would have been killed if they did not have the firearm available to be used. (Just Facts)

18. There are an estimated 6 million violent crimes that are committed annually in the United States. About 10% of these crimes are committed by an offender that is visibly armed with a gun. (Just Facts)

19. In a 1994 survey, it was found that Americans use a gun about 500,000 times over the course of a year to frighten away an intruder who is trying to break into their home. (CDC)

20. Based on the 2014 homicide rate in the United States, about 1 out of every 285 Americans will be murdered. 83% of Americans will be the victim of a violent crime that is either attempted or completed. (Just Facts)

21. Law enforcement reports that 65% of murders, 56% of aggravated assaults, 39% of rapes, and 30% of robberies result in an offender being identified and acted upon by the criminal justice system. (Just Facts)

22. There are an estimated 185,000 murders in the United States that are still classified as being unsolved. (Just Facts)

23. Just 2% of gun owners say that the primary reason they have a gun is because of the Second Amendment protections that are offered by the government. This figure is 50% smaller than gun owners who reported this reason in 1999. (Pew)

24. Gun owners collect firearms as a hobby at the same prevalence as gun owners who own guns as a Constitutional right. (Pew)

25. 66% of people who live in a household that does not have a gun say that stricter gun laws would reduce the number of deaths in mass shootings, compared to just 35% of gun owners. (Pew)

26. 79% of Democrats say that tougher gun laws would cut down on the number of deaths from mass shootings, but only 29% of Republicans agree. (Pew)

27. 60% of the US public says that a state government should not be allowed to ignore Federal gun laws. 49% of gun owners agree with this idea. (Pew)

28. 58% of Republicans say that states should be allowed to ignore Federal gun laws if they so choose. Just 18% of Democrats agree. (Pew)

29. 57% of Americans say that they do not have a gun in their household. (Pew)

30. In gun-owning households, 79% of those who personally own the firearm say that it makes them feel safer. Just 7% of gun owners say that ownership makes them feel uncomfortable. (Pew)

31. Mass shootings, as measured by having 4+ people shot regardless of fatalities, have taken place in nearly 100 metro areas in the United States. (The Trace)

32. Austin, TX is the only American city with a population of 400,000 or more that has not experienced a mass shooting since 2013. (Huffington Post)

33. About half of the people who are killed by gun violence in the United States are African-American/Black men, despite the fact that they comprise just 6% of the total population. (Pro Publica)

34. Nearly 1,000 American children have been killed by gun violence annually. 75% of the children who are killed by guns over the course of a year are under the age of 12. (Gun Violence Archive)

35. After banning automatic weapons and requiring a background check on all gun sales, gun-related homicides in the 5 largest South African cities decreased 13.6% per year for 5 straight years. (GQ)

36. Laws that are favored by the National Rifle Association, such as stand your ground and concealed carry laws, either had no effect on gun violence or increased it. (GQ)

37. Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, an American child under the age of 12 has died by accidental or intentional gunfire, on average, every 2 days. (NBC)

38. In 2015, a toddler in the United States shoots someone at an average of about once per week. (Washington Post)

39. From 2010-2015, at least 6 Americans had been shot by their dogs with a firearm that they owned. (Washington Post)

40. 39% of those who do not own a gun say that the primary reason that owning one would make them uncomfortable is their concern of an accident occurring. 29% of households specifically mention that potential gun accidents involving their children is why they do not own a firearm.

41. In 2012, gun control laws blocked over 192,000 prohibited individuals from gaining access to a firearm in the United States, including 82,000 felons. (Smart Gun Laws)

These gun control statistics show that if the status quo is continued in the United States, many more lives are going to be at-risk. There must be a balance in responsible ownership and effective gun control laws that can be found. It will take all of us to find this balance and the stakes are high.

Blog Post Author Credentials
Louise Gaille is the author of this post. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Louise has almost a decade of experience in Banking and Finance. If you have any suggestions on how to make this post better, then go here to contact our team.