Eight charts on guns in America

Congress passed major gun control legislation for the last time in 1993-94 as crime and firearm homicides came to a two-decade peak. Since then the firearm murder rates nationally and in New York State have declined. But the number of victims from mass public shootings has spiked. Meanwhile, Americans keep buying guns and the supply increases every year. The battle over guns has shifted to the states as most legislation in Congress stalled. Nationally, gun rights groups continue to outspend gun control advocates. But as mass public shootings have become more deadly, a Gallup poll shows a resurgence in support for stricter gun laws.

Here are eight charts outlining the situation.

Gun murder rates mostly decline nationally and in the state

Since 1993, the number of people killed per 100,000 population nationally declined, although it ticked up slightly in recent years. The New York State rate went from above to below the national rate. (Mouse over this or any other chart for details.)

Sources: FBI, Census, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services

Growing number of victims in mass public shootings

The number killed or wounded. 2018 figures are obviously partial and do not include the Texas shooting.

Source: Washington Post

More guns made available each year

Firearms manufactured in and imported into the U.S., minus those exported.

Source: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Background checks rising nationally and in New York

The FBI’s National Instant Background Check System began in 1998. Rate per million adults.

Source: FBI NICS reports

Gallup Poll indicates Americans favor stricter gun laws

Surveys from 1993 to 2018. (Not shown are those with no opinion.)

Source: Gallup Poll

Gun advocates are giving more to political candidates

Amounts given by gun rights and gun control advocates in two-year election cycles for federal offices.

Source: Center for Responsive Politics

Meanwhile, trace NRA-related contributions to Long Island politicians.

Gun advocates spend more to lobby Congress

Amounts spent each year, adjusted to constant dollars.

Source: Center for Responsive Politics

You can also see monthy and yearly data on the amount of violent crime involving guns on Long Island, or read more about the gun debate having echoes from the LIRR shooting era.