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How Gun Violence in Texas Compares to Other States

24/7 Wall St. logo 24/7 Wall St. 6/28/2021 Samuel Stebbins

a gun on a table © Provided by 24/7 Wall St. Fueled in part by the pandemic and national unrest in the wake of incidents of police brutality, gun sales hit an all-time high in the United States in 2020 -- a trend that shows no sign of slowing in 2021. Gun control advocates are concerned that the growing number of firearms in circulation, many of which are in the hands of first-time owners, will result in increasing rates of gun violence -- an all too familiar problem in the United States.

Even in 2019, before the most recent surge in firearm sales, there were an estimated 39,707 people killed by guns in the United States, or 12.1 deaths for every 100,000 people. Gun violence varies considerably by state, however, and some parts of the country are far safer than others.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states with the most gun violence. In Texas, 3,683 people were killed by guns in 2019, or 12.7 for every 100,000 people, the 25th lowest firearm fatality rate among states. Of all deaths from gun violence in the state that year, 2,237 were classified as suicides and 1,299 as homicides.

As is the case nationwide, gun sales -- measured by proxy through background checks -- are on the rise in Texas. There were a total of 2,325,281 background checks in the state in 2020, or 8,019 for every 100,000 people -- a 56.4% rate increase from 2019. Across the United States, there were more than 39.3 million background checks in 2020, or 11,981 for every 100,000 people, up 40.4% from the previous year.


Video: Texas gun laws: Good guys with guns, what you need to know (USA TODAY)

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All data used in this story is from the CDC and the FBI's National instant Criminal Background Check system.

 
Rank State Firearm deaths per 100k people, 2019 Total firearm deaths, 2019 Background checks per 100k people, 2020 1-yr. change in background checks (%)
1 Mississippi 23.7 705 12,326 53.9
2 Alaska 23.0 168 13,526 28.6
3 Wyoming 22.5 130 15,790 49.1
4 Alabama 21.8 1,071 22,138 57.3
5 New Mexico 21.8 457 9,836 31.5
6 Louisiana 21.5 999 9,261 52.5
7 Missouri 20.2 1,239 11,539 42.2
8 South Carolina 19.4 1,001 10,312 61.8
9 Arkansas 18.7 563 10,761 46.7
10 Tennessee 18.6 1,270 14,420 55.0
11 Montana 18.3 196 16,158 49.1
12 Oklahoma 18.2 719 11,885 30.6
13 Georgia 16.0 1,695 8,515 67.7
14 West Virginia 16.0 286 14,826 28.9
15 Nevada 15.7 483 7,121 70.9
16 Arizona 15.6 1,136 9,143 78.4
17 Kentucky 14.9 667 74,546 -19.2
18 Colorado 14.4 832 11,817 44.9
19 Indiana 14.1 952 28,751 33.4
20 Ohio 13.5 1,578 8,356 53.0
21 Idaho 13.5 241 15,740 34.4
22 Kansas 13.4 390 8,567 49.4
23 Florida 13.4 2,872 8,903 59.9
24 North Carolina 13.3 1,397 8,489 67.9
25 Oregon 13.2 556 12,236 44.3
26 Texas 12.7 3,683 8,019 56.4
27 Maryland 12.5 753 5,005 103.3
28 South Dakota 12.3 109 13,050 35.1
29 Michigan 12.0 1,200 10,699 117.1
30 Pennsylvania 11.9 1,528 11,349 47.1
31 Virginia 11.9 1,014 9,648 60.6
32 Utah 11.9 380 37,953 47.8
33 Maine 11.7 157 10,203 51.3
34 North Dakota 11.7 89 11,215 41.5
35 New Hampshire 11.2 152 12,846 55.7
36 Washington 10.9 830 10,262 28.7
37 Illinois 10.7 1,362 58,832 50.6
38 Wisconsin 10.2 595 12,566 67.9
39 Nebraska 10.0 194 5,403 53.2
40 Vermont 9.5 59 9,289 61.7
41 Delaware 9.2 90 7,913 66.0
42 Iowa 8.9 282 8,577 48.0
43 Minnesota 8.2 463 16,994 40.5
44 California 7.5 2,945 4,052 29.1
45 Connecticut 5.1 183 6,149 26.8
46 Rhode Island 4.2 45 4,849 111.1
47 New Jersey 4.1 366 2,003 94.9
48 New York 4.1 794 2,611 42.9
49 Hawaii 3.9 55 1,420 58.7
50 Massachusetts 3.4 237 3,810 23.7
 
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