Skip to content

New Everytown Report Finds City Gun Suicide on the Rise


The Rate of People Who Died by Gun Suicide in Cities Increased 11 Percent Over the Past Decade and Now Make Up an Average of over Four in 10 City Gun Deaths – Nearly 20 People in Cities Die by Gun Suicide Every Day

Cities with the Most Gun Shops Have Nearly Four Times Higher Rates of People Who Die by Gun Suicide

NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund today released a new report detailing the rise of people dying by gun suicide in cities. The report uses new city-level data compiled and made publicly available for the first time on NYU Langone’s City Health Dashboard. Everytown and NYU Langone’s new analysis reveals multiple factors leading to the rise of gun suicide in cities, including weak gun laws, more gun shops, fewer parks and walkable neighborhoods, and more. Notably, cities with the most gun shops have four times higher rates of people who die by gun suicide than cities with the the fewest gun shops. At a national level, rising rates of gun suicide are impacting more diverse populations than ever before—but until now, a lack of city-level data on this topic left this phenomenon often overlooked in the midst of our nation’s overall rise in gun violence that has plagued cities across the country.

“Cities have long been on the frontlines of America’s gun violence crisis — and this report makes it clear they’re also on the frontlines of our nation’s gun suicide crisis,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Many gun suicides are slow-motion tragedies, and city leaders need support from their state and federal counterparts when it comes to enacting laws to disarm people in crisis.”

“These findings are a stark reminder that city gun violence extends far beyond gun homicide and gun suicide devestates all types of communities,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “The good news is that we know how to save lives and prevent these tragedies: by passing strong gun safety laws limiting easy access to firearms.”

“To address gun violence in our cities, we need to acknowledge the growing – and too often unspoken – role that gun suicide plays in the human toll of this epidemic,” said Megan O’Toole, Deputy Director of Research at Everytown for Gun Safety. “This analysis unveils the scope of people who die by suicide and highlights the need to broaden the concept of city gun violence to recognize, prevent, and solve this pressing public health concern.”

“This is the largest release of city-level data on gun suicide and homicide rates from a trusted national data source,” said Marc N. Gourevitch, MD, MPH, chair of the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone and principal architect of the City Health Dashboard. “Having this new data publicly accessible means stakeholders in more cities across the country have the information they need to reduce gun deaths and bolster community safety.”

Key findings from the report:

  • The rate of people who died by gun suicide in cities increased 11 percent over the past decade, and now make up an average of over four in 10 city gun deaths, accounting for over 7,000 deaths a year—or nearly 20 suicides a day.
  • Cities in states with the strongest gun violence prevention laws have about half the rate of people who die by gun suicide as those in states with the weakest laws, demonstrating the importance of legislative action in preventing gun violence in cities.
  • Cities with the most gun shops experience nearly four times higher rates of people who die by gun suicide than those with the fewest gun shops, signaling the importance of expanding cities’ focus beyond illegal guns.
  • Smaller cities and those with fewer walkable neighborhoods (i.e., distance to local resources) experience higher rates of people who die by gun suicide, underscoring the importance of adequate access to resources and networks of social support.
  • Cities with the most parks have about half the rate of people who die by gun suicide as those with the least, suggesting that cleaning and greening efforts may offer benefits in reducing both gun homicides and suicides.

Preventing suicide in cities in the U.S. requires a multi-faceted approach that includes the following recommendations:

  • At the policy level, extreme risk laws, waiting periods, background checks, secure storage, and voluntary do-not-buy lists save lives by limiting the ease and immediacy of acquiring firearms, especially during vulnerable times. 
  • City governments can also address gun suicides by expanding the resources allocated to prevent them, including funding for mental health care, more parks and green spaces, and greater data availability.
  • Gun shop owners can contribute to educational campaigns, provide third party storage options, learn to recognize signs of distress in purchasers, and post warning signs about the risks of gun ownership.
  • Local governments can provide training and support to community leaders like barbers and beauticians to recognize the risk factors and warning signs to look for when someone may be contemplating suicide.
  • Learn how to talk about mental health with the people in your life.
  • Get help. Reach out for free and confidential support when you, a loved one, or a peer needs to talk to someone.

Resources for journalists on responsibly covering gun suicide are available here. More information about gun suicide here. To speak with an expert or volunteers with Moms Demand Action, and / or Students Demand Action, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24/7. 1-800-273-TALK (8255) You may also contact the Crisis Text Line, which provides trained crisis counseling services over text 24/7. Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the US

Free and confidential mental health, suicide prevention, and crisis intervention services and resources are also available to people in-need of help, loved ones of those in-need, and frontline workers through the Pandemic Crisis Services Response Coalition at