Gun Deaths Surpass Motor Vehicle Deaths in 21 States and the District of Columbia

For Release: Monday, January 11, 2016

Firearms should be regulated for health and safety just like all other consumer products

Washington, DC — Gun deaths outpaced motor vehicle deaths in 21 states and the District of Columbia in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, a new analysis from the Violence Policy Center (VPC) finds.

This is the fifth edition of the VPC report comparing gun deaths to motor vehicle deaths by state. The number of states where gun deaths exceed motor vehicle deaths has increased from just 10 states in 2009 — the first year of data analyzed by the VPC — to 21 states in 2014.

In 2014, there were more gun deaths than motor vehicle deaths in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, the analysis finds.

Data is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Gun deaths include gun suicides, homicides, and fatal unintentional shootings; motor vehicle deaths include both occupants and pedestrians.

“Firearms are the only consumer product the federal government does not regulate for health and safety,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “Meanwhile, science-based regulations have dramatically reduced deaths from motor vehicles in recent decades. It’s well past time that we regulate firearms for health and safety just like all other consumer products.”

Nine out of ten American households have access to a motor vehicle while fewer than a third of American households have a gun. Yet nationwide in 2014, there were 33,599 gun deaths compared to 35,647 motor vehicle deaths.

The graph below compares gun deaths and motor vehicle deaths nationwide from 1999 to 2014:

graph for press release

Below are the complete figures for the states where gun deaths surpassed motor vehicle deaths in 2014. The full report can be viewed at

Alaska: 145 gun deaths, 87 motor vehicle deaths

Arizona: 927 gun deaths, 857 motor vehicle deaths

Colorado: 663 gun deaths, 545 motor vehicle deaths

District of Columbia: 86 gun deaths, 37 motor vehicle deaths

Georgia: 1,391 gun deaths, 1,289 motor vehicle deaths

Idaho: 213 gun deaths, 212 motor vehicle deaths

Illinois: 1,179 gun deaths, 1,075 motor vehicle deaths

Indiana: 818 gun deaths, 774 motor vehicle deaths

Louisiana: 896 gun deaths, 807 motor vehicle deaths

Maryland: 546 gun deaths, 480 motor vehicle deaths

Michigan: 1,095 gun deaths, 1,014 motor vehicle deaths

Missouri: 943 gun deaths, 801 motor vehicle deaths

Nevada: 429 gun deaths, 319 motor vehicle deaths

New Hampshire: 122 gun deaths, 107 motor vehicle deaths

Ohio: 1,211 gun deaths, 1,137 motor vehicle deaths

Oregon: 497 gun deaths, 380 motor vehicle deaths

Pennsylvania: 1,390 gun deaths, 1,287 motor vehicle deaths

Tennessee: 1,020 gun deaths, 1,000 motor vehicle deaths

Utah: 337 gun deaths, 261 motor vehicle deaths

Vermont: 69 gun deaths, 49 motor vehicle deaths

Virginia: 889 gun deaths, 789 motor vehicle deaths

Washington: 702 gun deaths, 583 motor vehicle deaths




The Violence Policy Center is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury. Follow the VPC on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.


Media Contact:
Sally Martinelli
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