Intended for healthcare professionals


US gun murders reached 25 year high in 2020

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 11 May 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1188
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

Guns were used in more than three quarters of murders in the US in 2020, the first year of the covid-19 pandemic, up nearly 35% on 2019 and a 25 year high, data have shown. Some 19 350 people died in gun homicides in 2020, up from 14 392 in 2019.1

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which carried out the analysis, described firearm homicides and suicides as “important public health concerns in the United States with substantial inequities by race and ethnicity and poverty level.” It highlighted the importance of comprehensive strategies to stop violence now and in the future.

The age adjusted firearm homicide rate increased by 34.6% from 4.6 per 100 000 in 2019 to 6.1 per 100 000 in 2020. The highest homicide rates were in young people, men, and Black …

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