Firearm-related homicides spiked in 2020, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, which said 19,350 murders were reported that year in which a firearm was the murder weapon.
It was a particularly deadly year, as the Daily Mail is reporting there were also 24,245 suicides with firearms in 2020.
According to a CDC news release, “Firearms were involved in 79% of all homicides and 53% of all suicides in 2020.”
“Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a historic increase of 35% in the firearm homicide rate, resulting in the highest firearm homicide rate in more than 25 years,” the CDC said.
“The tragic and historic increase in firearm homicide and the persistently high rates of firearm suicide underscore the urgent need for action to reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., in a prepared statement. “By addressing factors contributing to homicide and suicide and providing support to communities, we can help stop violence now and in the future.”
According to the CDC, he “overall firearm suicide rate remained nearly level” in 2019-2020. There were age-specific increases in the 10-44-year age group. That was partly offset by a decrease in the number of suicides in the 45-65 age group.
The CDC listed several key findings in a news release:
- Rates increased for both males and females, but more notably among males.
- The highest rates and increases occurred among non-Hispanic Black persons.
- Rates increased across the country in large and small metro areas, as well as non-metro and rural areas.
- Rates were higher and showed larger increases in counties with higher poverty levels.
Among the key findings for firearm suicides:
- The overall rate remained nearly level between 2019 and 2020.
- Rates increased most notably among non-Hispanic AI/AN males aged 10–44 years old.
- Overall, rates were highest at the highest poverty level and lowest at the lowest poverty level.
- Non-metro and rural areas experienced the highest rates.
The firearm homicide total posted by the CDC is different from data provided by the FBI in its Uniform Crime Report for 2020, which had a total homicide number lower than the CDC’s gun-related murders. The FBI report is based on data from less than 100 percent of all law enforcement agencies.
The 2020 CDC data reflects a murder spike of nearly 35 percent in 2020, over the number posted in 2019.