Giffords Law Center compiles state by state data on gun violence to help educate legislators, advocates, and the public about the toll of gun violence in each state.

Information about our data sources and how we compiled data for the state section of our Gun Violence Statistics page is provided below. 

Data Sources

Giffords Law Center obtains all data on the number of gun deaths, gun death rates, and gun deaths over time from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), using the restricted fatal injury reports. 

Leading cause of death data also comes from the CDC’s WISQARS, using the restricted leading cause of death reports. 

Because the CDC does not provide information about the relationship between a perpetrator and victim, data on domestic violence and intimate partner homicides is obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR). SHR data is available from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. Data on intimate partner homicides in Florida are not included in the SHR, so Giffords Law Center obtains this data directly from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. 

Data Compilation

The number of gun deaths, both overall and by specific intent, are based on an average of the five most recent years of data published by the CDC (2014–2018). Unless otherwise noted, comparative analyses using gun death data, such as the percent of homicides and suicides involving firearms, were calculated over this five-year average. Data on domestic violence is presented over this same five-year average (2014–2018). 

All rates presented represent the rate over the past five years of data (2014–2018) and are age-adjusted by the CDC. The CDC uses 2000 as the standard year for age adjusting. 

Leading cause of death data is presented for the single most current year of available data (2018). When describing the leading cause of death in children, our counts provide data for children ages one through 17. The CDC separates cause of death data for children under the age of one because deaths among this age group vary considerably from that of other age ranges. 

Missing Data

In some cases, Giffords Law Center was unable to provide information about gun deaths of a particular intent within a state. The CDC suppresses death counts of less than ten to protect privacy, and rates based on counts of less than 20 deaths are considered unreliable by the CDC. 

GET THE FACTS

Gun violence is a complex problem, and while there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, we must act. Our reports bring you the latest cutting-edge research and analysis about strategies to end our country’s gun violence crisis at every level.

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