Gun accidents are a pressing global human rights concern in contemporary society. They're pervasive and threaten our right to live.
Each day, many fall victim to the tragic consequences of these accidents. In the US, over 48,830 lives are lost worldwide due to gun-related accidents.
This article seeks to raise awareness and improve knowledge of gun accidents by providing detailed statistics. Let's dive in!
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- In the US, about 321 people are shot daily, but fortunately, 210 survive their injuries.
- Men account for 81% of unintentional shooting victims.
- Approximately 2,000 people suffer gunshot injuries every day.
- Each year, close to 1,300 children under 18 years old die from shootings.
- Lethal violence killed 560,000 people in 2016, more than one each minute.
- 44% of all homicides worldwide involve gun violence.
- Gun violence has claimed the lives of over 13,900 individuals in the US thus far in 2023.
- Brazil recorded the highest number of gun deaths in 2019, with 49,436 cases.
- The highest rate of violent gun deaths in EL Salvador was in 2019, reaching 36.78%.
- Japan has a shallow gun death rate of only 0.02 per 100,000 people.
How Many Unintentional Firearm Deaths Happen Yearly?
Every year, unintentional gun injuries kill 500 people, averaging more than one death per day.
Accidents account for 37% of non-fatal gun injuries—less than 2% of all gun deaths. They are also more common in the US than in high-income countries, with 4x as many fatalities.
Studying gun accident statistics, including fatal firearm incidents and country comparisons, helps inform safety measures and policies to mitigate risks.
Gun-related Accident Report Statistics
Around 7,000 people (0.9% of the population) die of gunshot wounds yearly in mainland Europe. These deaths include suicides, accidents involving guns, and murders.
Meanwhile, firearm sales continue to surge in the US, along with a rising trend of non-fatal injuries. In 2022 alone, 16.2 million guns were sold. The gun-related accident statistics below illuminate this important topic:
1. In the United States, about 321 people are shot daily, with 210 surviving injuries.
In the United States, an average of 321 people are shot daily. Among those shots:
- 210 survive their injuries
- 111 lose their lives
- 95 people survive intentional shootings by others
- 90 individuals survive unintentional shootings
- 65 people die by gun suicide
- 42 are victims of murder
- 10 survive attempted gun suicides
- Four survived incidents of legal intervention.
- One unintentional fatality
- One is killed by legal intervention
2. Men account for 81% of unintentional shooting victims.
In 97% of shootings, someone else was to blame, and two-thirds of those were men. Most of the time, a brother or friend is the one who shoots someone else.
Children between 11 and 14 are often shot in people's homes. Most are victims of other children or themselves. Rarely does an adult who is not a family member accidentally shoot a child.
3. Approximately 2,000 people suffer gunshot injuries every day.
Gunshot injuries affect about 2,000 people. Gun violence and the fear it instills have lasting psychological effects on millions of people, families, and communities.
Gunshot wounds have profound and permanent impacts on both mental and physical health. Unfortunately, few adequate programs offer long-term care, rehabilitation, and job retraining for those affected.
It has resulted in a chronic public health crisis with little government assistance. The staggering number of daily gunshot injuries underscores the urgent need for:
- Better long-term care
- Support systems
Fetal Firearms Statistics
Over 85% of gun deaths in the UK were premature in 2018. Gun suicides are more common in older white men, while young black men are likelier to kill someone with a gun.
In the US, firearms have become the leading cause of death for children and teens. It even surpasses motor vehicle accidents and other injuries. Here are key statistics on fetal firearms, highlighting the pressing need for action:
4. Each year, close to 1,300 children under 18 years old die from shootings.
(Nationwide Children, LA Times)
Boys between 13 and 17 constitute most of the nearly 1,300 children killed in gun-related incidents each year. 53% of child gun-related deaths are homicides, with African American youths being the most frequent victims.
5. In 2016, lethal violence killed 560,000 people, more than one each minute.
(Small Arms Survey)
While global deaths in war declined in 2016, the number of deaths from crimes increased. It suggests that non-conflict areas are becoming less safe.
The top five countries with the highest death toll in 2016 were actively engaged in armed conflicts. These countries include:
- El Salvador
The surge in global crime mortality highlights the need for increased safety efforts in non-conflict areas. It involves addressing the root causes of violence and developing effective preventative strategies.
6. 44% of all homicides worldwide involve gun violence.
From 2012 to 2016, firearms caused 1.4 million deaths globally, remaining constant in recent years. Homicide, suicide, and accidental discharge account for 28,000 firearm deaths annually.
The consistent prevalence of firearms in murders worldwide necessitates sustained efforts to:
- Address the root causes of violence
- Strengthen gun control measures
- Promote alternatives to conflict
Statistics on Gun Accidents by Country
Due to different factors and controls, gun accidents vary widely among countries. Our World in Data reports that El Salvador, Venezuela, and Guatemala had the most gun deaths per person.
The rates in these countries are 35.5%, 32.75%, and 28.23%. Here are the top statistics on gun accidents in other countries:
7. Gun violence has claimed the lives of over 13,900 individuals in the US thus far in 2023.
(ABC News, Gun Violence Archive)
As of May 1, 2023, at least 13,959 people had died from gun violence in the US this year. It averages about 115 deaths per day. Among them, 491 were teenagers, and 85 were children.
Tragically, among gun violence victims this year, 66 per day have chosen to end their lives. The high gun-related death and suicide rate, especially among teens and children, shows:
- Urgent need for comprehensive prevention strategies
- Mental health support
- Accessible resources to combat gun violence
8. Brazil recorded the highest number of gun deaths in 2019, with 49,436 cases.
(World Population Review)
Brazil has the highest number of gun deaths among all countries, with 49,436 deaths from various causes. The US follows closely behind with 37,038 gun-related deaths, ranking second-highest globally.
9. The highest rate of violent gun deaths in El Salvador was in 2019, reaching 36.78%.
El Salvador has the highest percentage of violent gun deaths per 100,000 people, with 36.78%. Gun violence is prevalent in Latin America due to criminal gangs and the thriving drug trafficking industry.
A report by the Inter-American Development Bank highlights essential factors contributing to increased gun violence in Latin American cities, including:
- Economic deprivation
- Unstable housing
- Family problems
- Lack of education
- Age demographics
- Alcohol consumption
10. Japan achieved a low gun death rate of only 0.02 per 100,000 people.
(World Population Review)
In Japan, which has over 127 million people, the gun death rate was only 0.02 per 100,000 individuals in 2019.
This success can be attributed to Japan's stringent gun laws. Prospective gun owners must complete a full-day class, pass a written test, and achieve a minimum score of 95% on a shooting range test.
Furthermore, mental health evaluations and thorough background checks are conducted. Only shotguns and rifles are available for sale. Individuals must also renew their certifications every three years.
Gun accidents threaten human rights, specifically our right to life. The alarming statistics emphasize the urgent need for targeted safety measures and laws.
We must take action to protect lives, prioritize safety, and work toward a society free from the devastating consequences of gun accidents.