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City Gun Violence


City Gun Violence

What is the problem?

Gun violence is prevalent in many U.S. cities, particularly in historically underfunded neighborhoods. It spreads through social networks and intensifies long-standing inequities and public health disparities.

In 2015, half of all gun homicides in the U.S. took place in just 127 cities. Together, these cities contain less than a quarter of the country’s population. Nonfatal shootings are also prevalent in cities, and these injuries can have devastating consequences for the rest of a survivor’s life.

There are a wide variety of evidence-informed solutions to reducing gun violence and increasing safety in these communities. This includes violence intervention programs, Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding, and crime prevention through environmental design. City governments should partner with local advocates, residents, survivors, and researchers to ensure that applied strategies are appropriate for and responsive to local contexts.


Why is it an issue?

Gun homicides intensify long-standing inequities.

75% of homicides—which cluster in cities—involve guns, and the majority affect young Black and Latino men living in historically underfunded neighborhoods. Just 4% of blocks account for 50% of crime in many cities, and only 2-3 individuals from each street group actively engage in shootings. Comprehensive solutions to gun violence must recognize the role of social contagion and local context in cities, and supplement policies with community and data-driven violence intervention initiatives.

By the numbers

You might be wondering…

  1. 1 Are cities inherently dangerous?