Gun Facts


  • Gun violence is the 2nd leading cause of death for children and teens in Connecticut.
  • In the U.S. there are more guns than autos, and more stores to buy guns than there are coffee shops.1
  • An estimated 380,000 firearms are stolen each year. The lack of a national registry makes it difficult to trace guns.
  • More than 40% of gun-owning households with children store their guns unlocked. That helps to account for more than 2,700 children and teens injured and 110 killed in unintentional shootings each year.2
  • One in five firearm purchases occurs without a criminal background check.3
  • The annual cost of gun violence in America is $229 billion, including direct costs (largely borne by taxpayers), lost wages and quality of life. By comparison, $251 billion is spent on Medicaid, while the cost of obesity is estimated at $224 billion.4


  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed. 13
  • The rate of gun deaths is 7 times higher in states with the highest levels of gun ownership compared to states, like Connecticut, with the lowest rates.14
  • States with weak concealed carry permit requirements have higher rates of violent crime. States that loosened restrictions on concealed carry permits, so-called “right to carry” (RTC) states, saw violent crime rates increase each additional year RTC laws were in place. After controlling for changes in incarceration rates and the number of police per capita, a study found that RTC laws were associated with a 10% higher murder rate 10 years following the adoption of RTC laws.
  • Connecticut is one of only eight “may issue” states where local law enforcement has the discretion to deny permits to carry in public. Connecticut also requires a background check and approved training course to be eligible for a carry permit.15
  • Loosening restrictions on carrying concealed weapons in public increases violent crime by 13% to 15% over the following ten years.16


  • In 2017, Connecticut had 179 firearm deaths. At 59 percent of the total, gun suicides accounted for the greatest number of gun deaths. Gun homicides in the largest cities (Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford) accounted for 71 percent of total firearm homicides. 5
  • More than half the guns recovered from crime scenes in Connecticut during 2016 came from out of state. The five states that export the most crime guns to CT all have very weak gun laws. FL, GA and ME have failing grades from the Giffords Law Center, while NC and OH barely pass with “D”s.6
  • For every 10 to 20 guns removed as a result of Connecticut’s Extreme Risk Protection Orders, one suicide is averted. 7


  • By a margin of 2:1, 66% of voters support stricter gun laws. Overall, 97% of voters support universal background checks for all gun buyers, as we have in Connecticut. The near-unanimous support extends to gun-owning households and voters of all political affiliation. Two-thirds of voters believe it is too easy to purchase a gun in the U.S.17
  • More than half (56%) of adults believe that allowing more people to carry concealed weapons in public would make us the U.S. safer. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of adults believe a gun in the home makes it safer. 18
  • Arming teachers in schools is opposed by 73% of teachers. Nearly 6 in 10 believe it would make schools less safe.19


  • On average, 35,000 people die from gun violence in the U.S. each year, while another 81,000 are shot and injured. Two-thirds of gun deaths are by suicide. Nearly 1,000 children and teens die by gun suicide, while approximately 100 are unintentionally killed each year.8
  • About 4.5 million American women alive today have been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner. Nearly 1 million women alive today have been shot, or shot at, by an intimate partner. 9
  • Guns are the second leading cause of death among children and teens. Black children and teens are 15 times more likely than white children and teens of the same age to die by gun homicide. 10
  • Although guns are used in only 6 percent of suicide attempts, because they are more lethal than any other means (resulting in death 85 percent of the time), gun suicides account for more deaths than all other means of suicide combined.11
  • The impact of gun violence goes beyond those who are shot and killed. An estimated 3 million American children witness gun violence every year, which can lead to poor performance in school and serious physical and behavioral health issues later in life.12


  1. These 14 Facts Are Crucial to Understanding Gun Violence in America; The Trace, Jun 19, 2017
  2. Firearm storage patterns in US homes with children; American Journal of Public Health, Oct 10, 2011 (link)
  3. Firearm Acquisition Without Background Checks: Results of a National Survey; Annals of Internal Medicine (link)
  4. The True Cost of Gun Violence in America, Mother Jones, Apr 15, 2015 (link
  5. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of Connecticut
  6. Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – 2016.  Annual Gun Law Scorecard; Giffords Law Center – 2017 (link
  7. Yale, Duke, UConn researchers: Gun-seizure law prevents suicides, Yale School of Medicine, Nov 28, 2016 (link)
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WISQARS Fatal Injury Reports, Leading Causes of Death, United States – average 2012-2016.
  9. Nonfatal Gun Use in Intimate Partner Violence A Systematic Review of the Literature; National Institutes of Health – Sep 2016 (link)
  10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WISQARS Fatal Injury Reports, Leading Causes of Death, United States – 2016.
  11. 10 Essential Facts about Guns and Suicide; The Trace, Sep 6, 2016 (link)
  12. The Impact Of Gun Violence On American Children And Teenagers; Everytown for Gun Safety – 2018 (link)
  13. Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results From a Multisite Case Control Study; American Journal of Public Health – Jul 2003 (link)
  14. Firearms Research; Harvard Injury Control Research Center (link)
  15. Concealed Carry of Firearms:  Facts vs. Fiction, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Nov 2017
  16. States with right-to-carry concealed handgun laws experience increases in violent crime, according to Stanford scholar; Stanford News, Jun 21, 2017 (link)
  17. Quinnipiac University Poll – Feb 20, 2018 (link)
  18. Guns, Historical Trends; Gallup – 2014/15 (link)
  19. Most U.S. Teachers Oppose Carrying Guns in Schools; Gallup – Mar 16, 2018 (link)