Trends and Patterns in Firearm Violence, 1993–2018

This report describes trends and patterns in fatal and nonfatal firearm violence from 1993 to 2018 and for the more recent period of 2014 to 2018. It includes data on the type of firearm; location of the incident; victim and offender demographic characteristics and relationship; type of violence, injury, and treatment; police notification; and victims’ self-protective behaviors. 

Homicide data are primarily from Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) Fatal Injury Reports developed from the National Vital Statistics System of the National Center for Health Statistics, a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data on nonfatal firearm violence are from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey.

  • The firearm homicide rate decreased 41% overall from 1993 to 2018 (from 8.4 to 5.0 homicides per 100,000 persons age 12 or older), reaching a low of 4.0 per 100,000 in 2014 before rising to 5.0 per 100,000 in 2018.
  • The rate of nonfatal firearm violence for persons age 12 or older declined 76% from 1993 to 2018, dropping from 7.3 to 1.7 victimizations per 1,000, and ranging from 1.1 to 1.8 per 1,000 from 2014 to 2018.
  • From 1993 to 2018, on average, 71% of homicides were committed with a firearm.
  • The majority of firearm violence involved the use of a handgun from 1993 to 2018.


Read the Full Report

Trends and Patterns in Firearm Violence, 1993–2018 (NCJ 251663) was written by BJS Statisticians Grace Kena and Jennifer L. Truman, Ph.D. The report, related documents, and additional information about BJS’s statistical publications and programs are available on the BJS website at

The Bureau of Justice Statistics of the U.S. Department of Justice is the principal federal agency responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating reliable statistics on crime and criminal justice in the United States. Doris J. James is the acting director.

For more information on BJS’s publications, data collections, data analysis tools, and funding opportunities, visit BJS online.


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