The recent mass shootings at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, highlight the threat gun violence poses to public safety in the United States. And according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the problem is getting worse.
A total of 45,222 people were killed by a firearm in the United States in 2020, the most recent year of available data – up from about 40,000 in 2019, and a 25% increase from 2015. Only three states – Hawaii, New Jersey, and Alaska – reported a decline in deaths resulting from a firearm injury between 2015 and 2020.
In Iowa, firearm deaths have climbed by 42.1% from 2015 to 2020 – the third largest increase among states. According to the CDC, a total of 351 people died from a firearm injury in the state in 2020, up from 247 in 2015.
The current firearm mortality rate in Iowa, meanwhile, ranks as the 13th lowest among states, at 11.2 deaths for every 100,000 people
Gun sales in the state, measured using FBI firearm background check data as a proxy, also increased over the same period. There were an estimated 270,614 gun sales in Iowa in 2020, up from 147,309 in 2015. The 83.7% increase in sales was the 12th largest among states.
RankStateChange in gun deaths, 2015-2020Firearm deaths per 100,000 people, 2020Total firearm deaths, 2020Firearm background checks, 20201Kansas49.7%16.9494249,5892Illinois43.0%14.117457,455,0653Iowa42.1%11.2351270,6144Mississippi38.9%28.6818366,8295Tennessee37.0%21.31473984,7606Indiana37.0%17.311591,935,5877Wyoming36.3%25.915491,3848South Carolina33.1%221131530,9309North Carolina31.8%161699890,28410Colorado31.5%15.4922680,50711Georgia31.0%17.71897904,03512Arizona30.4%16.71265665,45813Missouri30.3%23.91426708,18414Texas30.0%14.241642,325,28115Kentucky30.0%20.19023,330,46216Idaho30.0%17.6321281,28417Arkansas29.4%22.6673324,74118Ohio26.3%15.21764976,75119Massachusetts25.8%3.7268262,58320Minnesota25.1%8.9513958,39121South Dakota25.0%13.6120115,44822Michigan24.9%14.614541,068,51123Louisiana24.3%26.31183430,53724Virginia24.1%13.41174823,51325New York23.9%5.31052507,94026New Mexico22.8%22.7479206,25227Nevada22.6%17547219,34928Oregon21.8%13592516,09629Delaware20.5%14.413577,05730Washington20.3%10.9864781,47131Alabama19.1%23.611411,085,47532Florida18.8%13.730411,912,20433Pennsylvania18.0%13.617521,452,92134Oklahoma17.0%20.7826470,28635Wisconsin17.0%12.2717731,61836West Virginia16.9%18.1325265,70537Utah16.9%13.64291,216,77338Nebraska16.6%10.1197104,51139Montana16.1%20.9238172,69540Connecticut15.9%6219219,22741Maryland13.4%13.5803302,56342California11.4%8.534491,601,05443North Dakota8.7%13.810085,46544Vermont8.6%11.67657,96545Maine6.3%10.4153137,14946Rhode Island5.9%5.15451,36947New Hampshire5.8%8.9128174,66248Alaska-1.1%23.517598,95249New Jersey-6.7%5443177,90150Hawaii-9.1%3.45020,102