CDC Reports Historic Surge in Gun Deaths in First Year of the Pandemic
A 35 percent surge in gun-related homicides represents the largest one-year increase in gun homicides in modern history.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that more than 45,000 Americans died in gun-related incidents in 2020 as the pandemic spread in the United States, the highest number on record, with the gun homicide rate being the highest reported since 1994, reports the New York Times.
The 35 percent surge in gun-related homicides represents the largest one-year increase in gun homicides in modern history. Firearm homicide rates increased by 39.5 percent among Black people (mostly men) from 2019 to 2020, to 11,904.
A Johns Hopkins analysis found that Black men ages 15 to 34 accounted for 38 percent of all gun homicide victims in 2020, though this group represented just 2 percent of the U.S. population.
Deaths of Black women, though smaller in number, also increased significantly. More than half of gun deaths were suicides, however, and that number did not substantially increase from 2019 to 2020. The overall rise in gun deaths therefore was 15 percent in 2020.
The rise also corresponded to accelerated sales of firearms as the pandemic spread and lockdowns became the norm, with the FBI reporting a record 1.2 million background checks in a single week, leading to roughly 15 million more guns in circulation than there would be without the pandemic.
Pandemic Worsened Inequalities Driving Violent Crime, Experts Say, The Crime Report, Dec. 14, 2021
Gun Sales Linked to Rise in Domestic Violence During Pandemic, The Crime Report. The Crime Report, July 9 , 2021