A new report from the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence draws on new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reveal that 39,740 people died from gun violence in 2018, including 24,432 by suicide and 13,958 by homicide. The number of gun deaths remained relatively steady from 2017 to 2018, with 33 fewer deaths in 2018 compared to 2017 — the highest year on record. This data brief delves into newly released data to illustrate the fatal toll of the gun violence epidemic in America. Major findings include:

  • 39,740 Americans died by gun violence in 2018, which is 33 fewer than in 2017. In other words, gun violence death totals remained relatively steady from 2017 to 2018.
  • An average of 109 people died by gun violence each day in 2018, bringing the most recent five-year average (2014-2018) to 103 gun deaths every day.
  • 13,958 Americans were murdered by firearm in 2018 — more than 38 people every day. While firearm homicides have increased over the last decade, 2018 registered a notable decrease of 584 deaths as compared to 2017.
  • 24,432 Americans died by firearm suicide in 2018 — 67 people every day. For the first time ever, the number of firearm suicides exceeded 24,000. This marks an increase of 578 deaths compared to 2017, continuing a trend of annual increases in firearm suicide deaths since 2006.
  • 458 people died by unintentional firearm injuries in 2018 — more than 1 person every day.  Unintentional firearm deaths have decreased over the past decade.
  • 539 people died by legal intervention by firearm in 2018 — more than 1 person every day. Note that this is likely an undercount.
  • 353 firearm deaths were documented in 2018 for which the intent was undetermined — nearly 1 person every day.

Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence Director of Federal Affairs Dakota Jablon issued the following statement:

“Gun violence costs our country children, parents, brothers, sisters, partners, and friends. Every single day in 2018, we lost nearly 109 loved ones and the potential their futures held. This is unacceptable. In the face of this national tragedy, we must apply a public health approach to save lives.

“We know the solutions needed to curb this epidemic and reduce American gun deaths. Life-saving policies like Extreme Risk Protection Orders and permit to purchase laws have gained popularity at the state level but need national attention. This newly released data on gun fatalities demands the attention of lawmakers in Washington and around the nation. Our failure to swiftly address this national epidemic is killing our citizens, our families, and our communities.

“Gun violence is our national shame. Every day that action is not taken in Washington and in statehouses across the country, this nightmare continues. It is way past time that elected leaders at every level of government work together to make gun violence rare and abnormal.”


Download Gun Violence in America:  2018 Data Brief