As Policy Watch reported earlier this month, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill, HB 398, that would repeal the state’s pistol purchase permit requirement.
Though the bill is likely to see a veto from Gov. Roy Cooper, elimination of the state permit requirement has for years been a conservative goal that has at times divided Republicans and law enforcement. As support for eliminating the requirement has continued to gather momentum on the political right, gun safety advocates point to a spike in gun deaths they say should caution the state against looser regulations.
This week, a by-the-numbers look at gun violence and death in the U.S. and North Carolina:
25 – Percentage increase of that gun-related deaths in the U.S. between 2019 and 2020
31 –Percentage increase in North Carolina between 2019 and 2020
670 – Number of people killed by guns in North Carolina in 2020
511 – Number in 2019 (Note: because of discrepancies in law enforcement reporting methods, those numbers do not include suicides, which make up the majority of gun deaths each year)
13 – Percentage increase of gun-related injuries in North Carolina between 2019 and 2020
23,941 – Number of firearm-related suicides in the U.S. in 2019, according to the CDC mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System. Though firearms are used in only 5% of suicide attempts, they account for half of all suicide deaths in the U.S.
90 – Percentage of firearm-related suicide attempts that end in death
Approximately 70 – Percentage of U.S. veteran suicides that involve firearms
13.5 – Percent of all adult firearm-related suicides that involve veterans
76 – Percentage increase in children and teen suicide by firearm between 2008 and 2018
20 – Number of mass shootings in North Carolina in 2020. The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as four people shot in a single event or general time and location, not including the shooter.
11 – Number in 2019
269 – Number of mass shootings in the U.S. in 2014
417 – Number in 2019
54 – Percentage of mass shootings in the U.S. from 2009 to 2018 that involved domestic violence
Sources: Safe North Carolina 2020 report from North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, Gun Violence Archive, statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, National Vital Statistics System – Mortality Data (2019) via the Centers for Disease Control.