For Release: Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Washington, DC – A new Violence Policy Center (VPC) report released today offers an overview of lethal gun violence in the Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The study, Gun Violence in the Great Lakes States, draws from VPC studies released in 2018 as well as additional research focusing on the region, and offers for each state information on: overall gun death (suicides, homicides, and unintentional deaths); homicide; suicide; black homicide victimization; females killed by males in the context of lethal domestic violence; and, examples (often with detailed narratives) of non-self defense killings involving concealed handgun permit holders for the years 2016, 2017, and 2018.
VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann states, “Although the pro-gun logjam that has stymied progress on the federal level has begun to buckle, the greatest opportunity for change today remains on the state level. Good data leads to good policy, and it’s our hope that the information contained in this report will aid advocates, organizations, and policymakers as they work in support of effective gun violence prevention measures.”
Among the findings included in the report:
• Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio all had overall gun death rates higher than the U.S. national rate in 2016. Ohio’s gun death rate increased by more than 50 percent since 2009.
• Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio had overall homicide rates as well as firearm homicide rates that were higher than the national rates in 2016.
• Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin had overall suicide rates as well as firearm suicide rates that were higher than the national rates in 2016, and Michigan had a firearm suicide rate that was higher than the national rate that year.
• Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana were among the 10 states that had the highest black homicide victimization rates in 2015, and all six Great Lakes states had a black homicide victimization rate higher than the national average. Where the weapon could be identified, in each state guns were the most common weapon used: ranging from 78 percent of homicides in Minnesota to 94 percent of homicides in Illinois. The most common type of firearm identified was a handgun.
• In each of the Great Lakes states in 2016 where the relationship was known, for women who were killed by men the number of females who knew their male killers was 95 percent or greater. That year, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin had a rate of females killed by males that was higher than the national average. In each state except for Illinois, the majority of homicides were committed with a gun. The most common type of firearm identified was a handgun.
• From October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017, 132 Michigan concealed handgun permit holders took their own lives. Michigan is one of the few states that releases regular reports detailing fatalities linked to concealed carry permit holders, although the reports do not detail the means employed in the suicide.
Information for Gun Violence in the Great Lakes States is drawn from VPC publications, ongoing research projects, and additional research, including: Gun Deaths: State by State; Black Homicide Victimization in the Great Lakes States: An Analysis of 2015 Homicide Data; When Men Murder Women—The Great Lakes States: An Analysis of 2016 Homicide Data; and, non-self defense killings involving private citizens with concealed carry permit holders from the VPC’s ongoing Concealed Carry Killers project.
For Gun Violence in the Great Lakes States, see http://www.vpc.org/studies/greatlakes2019.pdf.
For Gun Deaths: State by State, see http://vpc.org/press/u-s-gun-death-rate-jumps-17-percent-since-2008-supreme-court-district-of-columbia-v-heller-decision-affirming-right-to-own-a-handgun-for-self-defense/.
For Black Homicide Victimization in the Great Lakes States: An Analysis of 2015 Homicide Data, see http://vpc.org/studies/greatlakes18.pdf.
For When Men Murder Women—The Great Lakes States: An Analysis of 2016 Homicide Data, see http://vpc.org/studies/wmmwgreatlakes18.pdf.
For the VPC’s ongoing Concealed Carry Killers project, see http://concealedcarrykillers.org/.
The Violence Policy Center is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury. Follow the VPC on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.