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Hispanic Victims of Lethal Firearms Violence in the United States (2023)

December 6, 2023

In 2001, the United States experienced a historic demographic change. For the first time, Hispanics became the largest minority group in the nation, exceeding the number of Black residents. With a population in 2020 of 62.1 million, Hispanics represent 18.7 percent of the total population of the United States.This study is intended to report on Hispanic homicide victimization and suicide in the United States, the role of firearms in homicide and suicide, and overall gun death figures. Recognizing this demographic landscape, the importance of documenting such victimization is clear. Indeed, studies have found that Hispanic individuals are more likely to die by firearm homicide compared to white, non-Hispanic individuals.

Víctimas hispanas de violencia letal por armas de fuego en Estados Unidos (2023)

December 6, 2023

En 2001 los Estados Unidos experimentaron un cambio demográfico de carácter histórico. Por primera vez los hispanos se convirtieron en el grupo minoritario más grande del país, al sobrepasar en número a los residentes de raza negra. Con una población de 62.1 millones en 2020, los hispanos constituyen 18.7 por ciento del total de la población de los Estados Unidos.Este estudio busca informar sobre la victimización por homicidios y suicidios de la población hispana en los Estados Unidos, así como el papel que juegan las armas de fuego en homicidios y suicidios, y también las cifras totales de muertes por armas de fuego. La importancia de documentar dicha victimización queda clara al percatarnos del respectivo panorama demográfico en que ocurre. En efecto, hay estudios que han encontrado que una persona hispana tiene más probabilidades de morir por homicidio con arma de fuego que una persona blanca no-hispana.

VPC Backgrounder on Ruger, the Manufacturer of the Assault Rifle Used in the Lewiston, Maine Mass Shooting

October 31, 2023

On Wednesday, October 25, 2023, Army reservist Robert Card entered a local bar and a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine. Equipped with a Ruger SFAR assault rifle, he killed 18 victims and wounded 13 others before taking his own life. Days after the attack he was found dead, the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.This backgrounder offers information on the Ruger SFAR assault rifle and other assault weapons manufactured by the company, additional mass shootings that have been committed with Ruger firearms (including foreign civilian mass shootings), firearm production data, voluntary "safety alerts" warning of defects in specific Ruger firearms, the company's financial support of the National Rifle Association, and links to its social media outlets.

When Men Murder Women: A Review of 25 Years of Female Homicide Victimization in the United States

October 1, 2023

In January of 2021, the FBI changed the way crime data are collected and reported, which has impacted the reliability of subsequent data. That year, the FBI retired the SHR system and replaced it with the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). While NIBRS will eventually provide much more comprehensive and robust crime data compared to the SHR, transitioning law enforcement agencies to the new data collection and reporting system has been slow and burdensome. Indeed, many law enforcement agencies did not transition to NIBRS by January of 2021, which has had a significant impact on the reliability of 2021 crime data. After a careful analysis of that year's crime data, the VPC has determined that current NIBRS data are not reliable for state-by-state gun violence research as required by When Men Murder Women.Lacking reliable crime data from 2021, this report will instead focus on trends revealed in previous editions of When Men Murder Women over the past 25 years. Previous years' reports described the age and race of victims, weapons used, the relationship between victim and offender, and circumstance. Prior reports also ranked the states by their rates of females killed by males. This study summarizes the findings of these reports and the patterns and characteristics of these homicides between 1996 and 2020.

American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States, Eighth Edition

October 1, 2023

Murder-suicide is "a dramatic, violent event" in which a person commits one murder or multiple murders, and then shortly after commits suicide. What makes these acts particularly disturbing is that they affect more than one person and often involve a family. Murder-suicides are almost always committed by a man with a firearm. Yet outside of high-profile mass shootings, the phenomenon of murder-suicide usually garners little public attention as a significant contributor to gun-related death and injury. This is despite the fact that, as one medical professional has observed, "because many murder suicides result in the death or injury of family members and sometimes mass murder, they cause countless additional morbidity, family trauma, and disruption of communities."Currently, comprehensive, up-to-date information specific to murder-suicides in the United States is not readily available, making it challenging to assess the toll in death and injury. In order to more fully understand the human costs of murder-suicide, in 2002 the Violence Policy Center (VPC) began collecting and analyzing news reports of murder-suicides, resulting in a series of studies titled American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States. This is the eighth edition of the study. For each analysis, the VPC tracked murder-suicide incidents over a six-month period using Internet news reports. For this most recent edition of the study, news reports of murder-suicides were collected for the period January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021. To be included in the study, both the murder and subsequent suicide had to occur within 72 hours of each other and within this six-month time period. Recognizing the lack of publicly available data, this study likely provides one of the most current and accurate portraits possible of murder suicide in the United States. 

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2020 Homicide Data

April 1, 2023

This study examines the issue of Black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for Black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information used for this report is for the year 2020 and is the most recent data available. This is the first analysis of the 2020 data on Black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest Black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of Black homicide victims.

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2019 Homicide Data

July 13, 2022

This annual study examines black homicide victimization at the state level utilizing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The study ranks the states by their rates of black homicide victimization and offers additional information for the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates.

Gun Deaths Outpace Motor Vehicle Deaths in 34 States and the District of Columbia in 2020

April 27, 2022

In 2020, firearm fatalities exceeded motor vehicle fatalities in 34 states and the District of Columbia, the most recent year for which state-level data is available for both products from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That year, gun deaths (including gun suicide, homicide, and fatal unintentional shootings) outpaced motor vehicle deaths in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In just over a decade, the number of states plus the District of Columbia where gun deaths exceed motor vehicle deaths has increased from just 13 in 2010 to 35 in 2020—a jump of 169 percent.

Mass Shootings in the United States Involving Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines

November 1, 2021

This publication offers examples of mass shootings since 1980 in which large capacity ammunition magazines are known to have been used. The list includes available information on the casualties, firearms, and large capacity ammunition magazines in each of the mass shootings.

When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2019 Homicide Data

September 29, 2021

When Men Murder Women is an annual study released by the VPC for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. State by state, the study details the circumstances of all reported homicides of women by men in single-victim/single-offender incidents. The study also ranks the states based on their rate of females killed by males. This research is used by state and local advocates to educate the public and policymakers on the realities of domestic violence and promote effective solutions to protect women and children from abusers.

How the Firearms Industry Markets Guns to Asian Americans

September 16, 2021

Exploiting the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, the gun industry is targeting the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community as potential new gun buyers and future pro-gun advocates.The firearms industry and gun lobby are currently targeting minority communities in their marketing in response to long-term stagnation in the traditional gun market of white men. Until recently, this campaign focused primarily on Black and Latino Americans, but the gun industry is now ramping up its efforts targeting Asian Americans.Asian Americans have low gun ownership rates, strongly support stricter gun laws, and are the fastest growing voter group in the United States. As a result of their increasing size and consumer power, Asian Americans are viewed as an untapped market by gunmakers. And in the eyes of the firearms industry and gun lobby, the purchase of a firearm is the first step down the path for new gun owners to become future pro-gun advocates and voters.

States with Lower Gun Ownership and Strong Gun Laws Have Lowest Suicide Rates (2021)

September 8, 2021

Released during National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, this report dataset presents overall suicide as well as gun suicides rates state by state, revealing the decisive role played by firearms in suicide attempts. The analysis identified the three states with the highest and lowest overall suicide rates in 2019 and included for each state its gun suicide rate, total number of suicides and gun suicides, percentage of suicides that involved a gun, and household gun ownership.