This week, Everytown for Gun Safety released updated 2020 data and new analyses to its City Dashboard, which features FBI and police department data on murders and gun homicides in nearly 500 cities across the country.
This data and analysis comes at a particularly important time in the fight against gun violence, as cities across the country seek unique funding opportunities, including the American Rescue Plan funds, to restore and build upon vital violence intervention strategies that were disrupted and further necessitated by COVID-19, and Congress is considering a $5 billion investment in these strategies as part of the Build Back Better Act. Some key findings from the updated City Dashboard include:
- In 2020, murders and gun homicides increased in the US at record rates. In cities overall, murders increased by 33 percent, and gun homicides increased by 37 percent compared to 2019.
- In the first half of 2021, murders increased by 8 percent in medium and large cities (population 250,000+) compared to the same period last year.
- Midwestern states experienced the highest rate of gun homicide in 2020 and the largest increase in gun homicides—1.5 times higher than in 2019.
- In seven cities, the gun homicide rate at least doubled in 2020 compared to 2019: Lubbock, TX; Des Moines, IA; Fresno, CA; Vallejo, CA; Trenton, NJ; Columbus, OH; Syracuse, NY; and Milwaukee, WI.
- The seven cities that experienced the greatest declines in the gun homicide rate from 2019 to 2020 were Virginia Beach, VA; El Paso, TX; High Point, NC; Anchorage, AK; Salt Lake City, UT; Oklahoma City, OK; and Long Beach, CA.
Overall, data suggests that the COVID-related increases in gun homicides experienced by many cities in 2020 continued through at least the first half of 2021, further demonstrating that these trends demand immediate attention and action.
If you are interested in speaking to a policy expert about the City Dashboard, please don’t hesitate to reach out.