Gun violence incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic is higher than before the pandemic in the United States

Paddy Ssentongo*, Claudio Fronterre, Anna E. Ssentongo, Shailesh Advani, Emily S. Heilbrunn, Joshua P. Hazelton, John S. Oh, Jennifer S. McCall-Hosenfeld, Vernon M. Chinchilli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, gun violence (GV) in the United States (U.S.) was postulated to increase strain on already taxed healthcare resources, such as blood products, intensive care beds, personal protective equipment, and even hospital staff. This report aims to estimate the relative risk of GV in the U.S. during the pandemic compared to before the pandemic. Daily police reports corresponding to gun-related injuries and deaths in the 50 states and the District of Columbia from February 1st, 2019, to March 31st, 2021 were obtained from the GV Archive. Generalized linear mixed-effects models in the form of Poisson regression analysis were utilized to estimate the state-specific rates of GV. Nationally, GV rates were 30% higher between March 01, 2020, and March 31, 2021 (during the pandemic), compared to the same period in 2019 (before the pandemic) [intensity ratio (IR) = 1.30; 95% CI 1.29, 1.32; p < 0.0001]. The risk of GV was significantly higher in 28 states and significantly lower in only one state. National and state-specific rates of GV were higher during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the same timeframe 1 year prior. State-specific steps to mitigate violence, or at a minimum adequately prepare for its toll during the COVID-19 pandemic, should be taken.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20654
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


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