Analysis Shows States With Strong Gun Safety Laws Spend Less on Repercussions of Gun Violence Than States With Lax Laws
MONTGOMERY — Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund released new research detailing the economic impact of gun violence across the U.S. and by state, with Alabama having the 4th highest total cost per resident. 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 puts a dollar value on the pain, suffering and lost well-being of victims and their families.
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 resident than states with lax gun laws, including Alabama. Every year, gun violence in the U.S. kills 40,000 people, wounds twice as many, and costs our nation $557 billion in an average year — including costing Alabama $15.4 billion annually.
For a state by state breakdown, see appendix below. Alabama Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers are available for interviews.
“While we can’t put a number on the devastating emotional cost of gun violence, we can calculate its economic cost — and it adds up to more than half a trillion dollars a year,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “When lawmakers bow down to the NRA, the American people end up footing the bill.”
“Every single act of gun violence creates a reverberation of trauma,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “The cost of gun violence is more than just dollars and cents, but everybody ends up paying for the damage. There is more lawmakers should be doing to make sure survivors and taxpayers don’t bear the brunt of this financial burden.”
“There is no question that lives taken due to gun violence is the most costly part of this public health epidemic, but the continued economic cost weighs heavily on the country as well,” said Sarah Burd-Sharps, director of research for Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. “The research is clear: too often survivors are tasked with dealing with the physical, mental, emotional and financial cost of gun violence. But the price of inaction on gun safety exacts a steep economic cost on all taxpayers and our economy as well.”
As survivors, families, communities, employers, and taxpayers, we all pay for the enormous costs associated with this violence, whether we own a gun or not. The daily economic consequence of the $557 billion cost of gun violence is staggering:
- Taxpayers, survivors, families, and employers pay an average of $7.79 million daily for medical and mental health care and transport related to gun violence and lose an estimated $147.32 million per day in work missed due to injury or death.
- American taxpayers pay $30.16 million every day in police and criminal justice costs.
- Employers lose an average of $1.47 million on a daily basis in productivity, revenue, and costs to train replacements for victims of gun violence.
- Society loses $1.34 billion daily in intangible costs from the pain and suffering of gun violence victims and their families.
In an average year, 1,090 people die and 3,065 more are wounded by guns in Alabama. More information on gun violence in Alabama is available here, and more information on gun violence in the U.S. is available here.
APPENDIX – Economic Cost by State
|Rank (highest to lowest per person cost)||State||Cost (per resident per year)||Total Cost (per year)|
|5||New Mexico||$3,133||$6.6 billion|
|8||District of Columbia||$2,844||$2.0 billion|
|10||South Carolina||$2,716||$14.0 billion|
|14||West Virginia||$2,406||$4.3 billion|
|26||South Dakota||$1,875||$1.7 billion|
|27||North Carolina||$1,855||$19.5 billion|
|29||North Dakota||$1,734||$1.3 billion|
|36||New Hampshire||$1,631||$2.2 billion|
|47||Rhode Island||$710||$752.1 million|
|49||New Jersey||$594||$5.3 billion|
|50||New York||$588||$11.4 billion|