DOJ Study: Gunshot Wounds Decline
By Keith W. Murrow
October 10, 2000
Washington (H24N). A new report from the Department of Justice (DOJ) finds the
number of gunshot wounds in the United States dropped 40 percent from 1993 to
The report, released Oct. 8 by the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics,
looked at data from various sources: hospital emergency rooms, the DOJ's own
National Criminal Victimization Survey, homicide reports from the FBI and death
certificates collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC's Firearm Injury Surveillance Study showed that 62 percent of non-fatal
firearm injuries treated in emergency rooms were the result of assaults, 17
percent were accidents, 6 percent were suicide attempts and 13 percent were from
As well as citing the decrease in the number of people who suffered from gunshot
wounds, the report found that the homicide rate fell 27 percent, from 18,300 to
13,300, over the same five-year period.
The report also found that four out of five victims of both fatal and non-fatal
gunshot injuries were male, and nearly half of all victims were black males.
While more than half of the victims of nonfatal gunshot wounds from crime were
younger than 25, the report also found that older victims were more frequently
the victims of homicide.
According to the report, only 41 percent of victims of non-fatal gunshot
injuries could identify what type of firearm was used. Of those, 82 percent of
the victims reported being shot by a handgun, compared to 14 percent who
identified a shotgun and 4 percent who said rifle.