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

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

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 Violence Policy Center on Facebook and follow @VPCinfo on Twitter.