Analysis Shows States With Strong Gun Safety Laws Spend Less on Repercussions of Gun Violence Than States With Lax Laws
Updated Calculator Tool Estimates the Economic Cost of Specific Shootings, Including Cost to Taxpayers
Everytown Support Fund Senior Research Director Sarah Burd-Sharps to Testify on Economic Cost of Gun Violence in Two Congressional Hearings This Week
NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund today released new research detailing the economic impact of gun violence across the nation. On average, gun violence costs the U.S. $557 billion each year, of which $12.62 billion is paid by taxpayers, to deal with the aftermath of shootings across the country. 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. A state-by-state cost breakdown is available here.
This $557 billion price tag, the equivalent of 2.6 percent of gross domestic product, places the U.S. at a sharp economic disadvantage in the global economy. Money that could be invested in education, workforce development, or building healthier, safer, more sustainable communities is instead being spent on the aftermath of gun violence.
The analysis highlights that states with strong gun safety laws have a lower cost for gun violence per year than states with lax gun laws. The report also includes a calculator tool that estimates the economic cost of specific shootings, including the cost to taxpayers. The tool allows lawmakers, reporters, and community members to see how much gun violence continues to cost their communities, adding to the case for immediate action and investment in gun violence prevention.
“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.
This week, Sarah Burd-Sharps, the Director of Research at Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, will testify in two congressional hearings on the economic cost of gun violence and this new report. On Tuesday, July 19 at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough: How Mass Shootings Harm Communities, Local Economies and Economic Growth, and on Wednesday, July 20, the Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing on The Economic Toll of Gun Violence: How our Nation Bears the Costs.