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New Everytown Report: Aftermath of Gun Violence Costs $280 Billion Each Year, Crowding out Funding for Vital Public Services


Analysis Shows States With Strong Gun Safety Laws Spend Less on Repercussions of Gun Violence Than States With Lax Laws

2020 Was a Record Year for Gun Violence Across the Country

NEW YORK —  Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund today released new research detailing the economic impact of gun violence across the U.S. and by state. The report covers immediate costs starting at the scene of a shooting; subsequent costs such as long-term physical and mental health care, lost earnings and criminal justice costs; and cost estimates of quality of life lost over a victim’s lifespan, as is common in jury awards for injury and accident cases.

Every year, gun violence in the U.S. kills nearly 40,000 people, wounds more than twice as many, and costs our nation $280 billion in an average year. On an average day:

  • United States taxpayers pay $34.8 million each day for medical care, first responders, ambulances, police, and criminal justice services related to gun violence.
  • Families directly affected by gun violence face $4.7 million in out-of-pocket costs for medical bills and mental health support and $140.3 million in losses from work missed due to injury or death every day.
  • Society loses an estimated $586.8 million per day in intangible costs from the pain and suffering of gun violence victims and their families.
  • Employers lose $1.4 million in productivity, revenue, and costs required to recruit and train replacements for victims of gun violence every day.

“No dollar figure could ever fully convey the cost of gun violence for families and survivors, but these estimates remind us just how many ways lawmakers’ inaction costs families, taxpayers and society as a whole,” said Sarah Burd-Sharps, director of research for Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. “In a time of stretched-thin budgets, this crisis is costing the country billions each year. We could instead be using these dollars to invest in the vital local intervention programs and public services that we know prevent gun violence from happening in the first place.”

“America’s annual firearm injury bill exceeds its impaired driving bill. Perhaps that’s because we regulate driving safety as a society to make the roads and vehicles safer for all of us,” said Dr.Ted R. Miller, principal research scientist at Pacific Institute for Research & Evaluation and the leading economist working on costing gun violence in the U.S.

The analysis also highlights that states with strong gun safety laws such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Hawaii have a lower cost for gun violence per year than states with lax gun laws like Missouri, Louisiana, and Mississippi. For a state by state breakdown, see appendix below. 

To see the economic cost of gun violence to families and the government in your state, go to EveryStat, the interactive, one-stop website for data on gun violence and costs.  

APPENDIX – Economic Cost by State