5 Questions to Ask in the Wake of a Mass Shooting

For Release: Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Violence Policy Center: Demand Answers About the Weapons Used and How They Were Procured

Washington, DC – In the wake of any public mass shooting, it is vital that the media, policymakers, and general public demand answers about the firearms the perpetrator used and how they were procured.

Five specific questions to ask include:

1–What type of firearms were used in the attack – and what is the make and model of each weapon?

2–What capacity and number of ammunition magazine(s) were used in the shooting?

3–Were the weapons acquired legally, what was the source, and did the shooter have a concealed carry permit?

4–How many other mass shootings are known to have been committed with the same make/model of firearms?

5—How are the guns marketed by the manufacturers?

“The common thread that runs through most fatal shootings in America is semiautomatic firearms equipped with detachable ammunition magazines,” said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, “Yet all too often, in the wake of such attacks, limited attention is paid to the actual weapons used to perpetrate them and how they were procured. That is why the Violence Policy Center has prepared five questions for the media, policymakers, and the public to ask about the firearms used in our nation’s unending plague of mass shootings.”


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

Media Contact:
Georgia Seltzer
(202) 822-8200 x104