Violence Policy Center Nick Amen and Osvaldo Silva
The Violence Policy Center (VPC) combats the illegal and unsafe use of firearms and explosives of all types through the conduction of research investigation and analysis of gun related incidents in America.
Firearms are the second leading cause of traumatic death related to a consumer product in the United States and are the second most frequent cause of death overall for Americans ages 15 to 24. Since 1960, more than a million Americans have died in firearm suicides, homicides, and unintentional injuries.
More Gun Dealers than Gas Stations? According to a 1994 report, there were 245,628 Type 1 Federal Firearms License (type 1 FFL) holders while there were only 210,000 gas stations. That number has plummeted since then to 54,902 type 1 FFL holders in 2005
According to the Government Accountability Office, between February 3, 2004, and June 30, 2004, a total of 44 firearm-related background checks resulted in valid matches with terrorist watch list records. Even though, 35 transactions were allowed to proceed because the background checks found no prohibiting information, such as felony convictions, illegal immigrant status, or other disqualifying factors. Current law is so weak that being a known member of a foreign terrorist organization does not prohibit a person from legally buying and possessing guns. The VPC is working to change that. Guns and Terrorism
Over a six month period between July and December 2006 there were a recorded 549 drive-by shooting occurrences, killing 156 and injuring another 465. Drive-bys
Murder-Suicide From January 1, 2005 to June 30, 2005, there occurred 264 murder-suicides claiming the lives of 591 people. 92% of these included a firearm 10 occur each week Pennsylvania was tied with Texas for most murder-suicides in this time period with 18 incidents
Highest Gun Death Rate Each one of the states with the highest gun death rates hold a “pro-gun” stance on the issue, however, the data shows that guns plain and simply kill. 15.15 413 Arkansas 10 17.00 765 Alabama 5 15.21 849 Arizona 9 17.39 326 New Mexico 4 15.80 145 Montana 8 17.76 89 Wyoming 3 16.56 477 Mississippi 7 18.50 120 Alaska 2 16.69 374 Nevada 6 18.84 847 Louisiana 1 Gun Death Rate per 100,000 Number of Gun Deaths State Rank Gun Death Rate per 100,000 Number of Gun Deaths State Rank States With Highest Per Capita Gun Death, 2003
Assault Rifles 1 in every 5 police officers are killed by assault rifles
Assault rifles are defined as a rifle capable of receiving a high capacity magazine that holds anywhere from 10 to over 100 rounds, with a forward grip or shroud to allow holding of the rifle even after heavy fire. Civilian versions of assault rifles are semi-automatic (every pull of the trigger fires a bullet) while military versions are fully automatic (hold trigger down induces continuous fire). High capacity magazine Forward shroud
50 Caliber Weapons
50 Caliber rifles are designed for anti-armor, long range engagement on the battlefield. According to Federal Law anyone over 18, after passing a Brady background check, may purchase a 50 caliber rifle. However, to buy a handgun in a store, the individual must be 21 years old. .223 AR-15 assault rifle round .30-06 hunting round 50 Caliber rifle round
Explosives Regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), however, it is less of a concern.
Although not as big a problem as guns, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) can and have caused problems. These can range from pipe bombs to powder filled, makeshift bombs.