Skip to content

COVID & Gun Violence


COVID & Gun Violence

What is the problem?

Unprecedented increases in gun sales, combined with economic distress and social isolation due to COVID-19, intensified the country’s gun violence crisis.

The United States experienced the collision of two major public health crises: COVID-19 and gun violence. While millions in the U.S. rushed out to purchase guns in the middle of a global pandemic, thinking they were buying safety, research shows that they were in fact exposing themselves to higher risks of gun violence. At the same time, structural inequities fueling community gun violence were exacerbated. Moving forward, we must invest in policies that improve the plight of all Americans and save lives.

Why is it an issue?

The pandemic highlights the weaknesses in existing gun laws.

The pandemic highlighted the deadliness of weak gun purchase and access laws that allow firearms to fall into the wrong hands and also shed light on existing structural inequity. The coronavirus put vulnerable populations, including women, children, and communities of color, at heightened risk. The lethal impact of these crises, though devastating, helps point the way to laws, policies, and programs that can keep people safe and healthy.

By the numbers

What are the solutions?