Surviving a Shooting is One of the Strongest Predictors of Future Involvement With Violence; Better Data on Nonfatal Shootings Can Help Policymakers and Advocates Direct Services to Those at Highest Risk and Disrupt Cycles of Violence
There is No Centralized System for Tracking Nonfatal Firearm Injuries, No Place to Look up the Number, Type, and Location of These Injuries As a Basis for Research and Analysis.
NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund today released new research on the extensive toll of nonfatal shootings in the U.S. and for every state, drawing on hospital records to estimate the daily average of nonfatal shootings and highlight the disproportionate share shouldered by adolescents and young adults, particularly males.
In the absence of reliable government data on nonfatal shootings, Everytown Support Fund used data from a federal database of roughly 40 million hospital discharge records to estimate the total number of nonfatal firearm injuries, as well as injuries by state and demographic group. Among other takeaways, the analysis found:
- An estimated 84,776 people—more than 230 people each day—were shot and wounded by firearms in the U.S. in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available. This is more than double the daily toll of fatal gun deaths.
- 87 percent of those who visit a hospital for a gunshot wound are men or boys.
- Though making up just a small slice of the U.S. population, 15- to 24-year-olds nevertheless comprise 37 percent of all hospital-treated gunshot wound victims.
- Black people, with a rate of 113.8 nonfatal injuries per 100,000 people, have the highest rate of nonfatal gun injuries over 10 times higher than white people. The Latino and Latina rate of nonfatal gun injuries is double that of white people.
- Rates of nonfatal firearm injury vary tremendously, from states with a rate above 60 persons injured per 100,000 people (including Alabama, Washington, DC, Louisiana, and Mississippi) to rates below 10 (as in Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, and New Hampshire).
“Most people who are shot survive so comprehensive data on nonfatal shootings is critical to understanding and reducing American gun violence,” said Sarah Burd-Sharps, director of research for Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. “As is so frequently the case when it comes to shootings, government information on this topic is inadequate so policymakers are effectively working in the dark. Our analysis is no substitute for timely and thorough data compiled by the federal government. But it shines a light on the shooting epidemic in the U.S.— every seven minutes one person is shot and wounded— and its disproportionate toll on boys and young men.”
“When I was shot, it changed my life — and the lives of everyone in my family — completely,” said Karina Sartiaguin, who was the unintended target of a 2010 drive-by shooting outside of her school, Central High School, in Aurora, Colorado. “We’ll live the consequences for the rest of our lives, as will the families of other survivors, a group that grows by hundreds every single day. As survivors, our stories are all different, but together, they show how urgently we need action to prevent gun violence.”
The analysis also lists actions that rigorous research shows could help reduce the daily toll of nonfatal gun injuries, including:
- Collecting and disseminating nonfatal firearm injury data
- Investing in those at greatest risk through local intervention programs such as street outreach and hospital-based violence intervention programs
- Encouraging secure gun storage practices
- Enacting policies that reduce gun violence, including background check laws, secure storage accountability laws and laws that prohibit those recently convicted of a violent crime from having a gun
APPENDIX — Nonfatal Injuries by State
|Rank (highest to lowest rate)||State||Nonfatal Injury Rate (per 100,000 people)||Nonfatal Injuries |
|4||District of Columbia||64.6||448|