More than half a million people were hospitalized for firearm injuries between 2000 and 2016, according to a new RAND study.
The study, released Wednesday as part of RAND’s Gun Policy in America initiative, represents an effort fill in the data gaps on the toll taken by firearm use in America.
In 2018, 39,740 individuals in the United States were killed by firearms, making firearm violence the second leading cause of injury death in the [country],” RAND said.
“However, these deaths represent a small fraction of all firearm violence. There are an estimated 40 times as many nonfatal firearm crimes as firearm deaths, and an estimated 70,000 visits to emergency departments (EDs) each year for injuries caused by a firearm.”
Using data collected from a variety of sources, RAND estimated there were 547,821 “inpatient hospitalizations” for gun-related injuries.
RAND said the data does not provide information on how many of those patients died as a result of their injuries. Nor is there reliable data indicating whether the injuries were self-inflicted (attempted suicide) or the result of violence.
“This lack of information limits our ability to answer basic questions about gun violence, such as whether trends in gun injuries are changing over time, or whether existing strategies to reduce firearm-related harms are effective,” said Rand.
The database revealed “substantial differences in the rate of inpatient hospitalizations for firearm injury across states, and relatively stable national trends,” RAND added.
The study was supported by Arnold Ventures.
The database can be downloaded here.