TENNESSEE’S GUN DEATH RATE CONTINUES TO RISE
The Centers for Disease Control recently released fatal injury data for 2017, and when it comes to firearm deaths in Tennessee, the numbers are undoubtedly concerning. Tennessee’s gun death rate rose across the board, showing increases in all firearm deaths, including firearm homicides and firearm suicides.
“Over the last several years, we’ve watched with dismay as the number of Tennesseans killed with firearms goes up, but the increase from 2016 to 2017 is startling,” said Beth Joslin Roth, policy director for The Safe Tennessee Project. “Every year, our state passes legislation that further loosen our already lax gun laws based on the premise that more guns for more people more places makes us all safer. The increasing number of gun deaths clearly demonstrate that approach is not working.”
Tennessee is consistently in the top 15 states for gun deaths. In 2017, the state ranked 11th. In 2016, the state ranked 14th.
In 2016, Memphis broke a 23-year homicide record.
In 2017, the homicide rate in Knoxville was the highest since 1998.
In 2017, Nashville’s murder rate neared an all-time high.
In 2017, Tennessee led the nation in unintentional shootings involving children and unsecured guns.
In December of 2017, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a report on firearm violence in Tennessee between 2013 and 2016. In his opening remarks, then-TBI Director Mark Gwynn wrote: “I am deeply concerned with the findings of this report reflecting a substantial increase in firearm related crimes in our state. This increase puts an additional strain on Tennessee’s law enforcement resources and poses a serious threat to public safety.”
In November of 2018, the CDC released the latest data for large metro areas reporting firearm homicide and suicide rates for 2015-2016. The report found that large metro areas are reaching levels of firearm deaths not seen since 2006-2007, and that the firearm homicide and suicide rates in Memphis and Nashville increased at rates that outpaced the national rates.
“The reality is that gun violence is a serious problem in Tennessee, and it’s getting worse,” said Roth. “Research shows that lax gun laws are linked to more gun deaths. States with stronger gun violence prevention laws have a much better chance of reducing the number of deaths linked to firearms. The majority of Tennesseans now support stronger gun laws. It’s time for lawmakers to listen to them.”
TENNESSEE GUN DEATHS BY THE NUMBERS
Gun deaths “all intents” indicates gun deaths resulting from homicide, suicide, and unintentional shootings. For more information on numbers and how Tennessee gun death rates rank compared to other states, click here.
2010: 14.42 2014: 15.1
2011: 14.4 2015: 15.94
2012: 14.93 2016: 16.99
2013: 15.4 2017: 18.44
Gun deaths “homicide only” indicates gun deaths resulting from homicides. For more information on numbers and how Tennessee homicide gun death rates rank compared to other states, click here.
2010: 4.67 2014: 4.95
2011: 4.95 2015: 5.72
2012: 5.16 2016: 6.73
2013: 4.89 2017: 7.4
Gun deaths “suicide only” indicates gun deaths resulting from firearm suicides. For more information on numbers and how Tennessee suicide gun death rates rank compared to other states, click here.
2010: 8.93 2014: 9.31
2011: 8.73 2015: 9.13
2012: 9.14 2016: 9.67
2013: 9.86 2017: 10.4