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Community Gun Violence in Minnesota: The Facts and How You Can Help

What is community gun violence?

Community gun violence is a scourge affecting MN. Defined as intentional acts of interpersonal gun violence committed in public places by individuals who are not intimately related to each other, community gun violence occurs in streets, parks, front porches—and it makes up the majority of gun homicides that occur in the U.S. While the national conversation around gun violence revolves around mass shootings, the epicenter of community gun violence is in communities of color and in under-resourced urban areas. Nationally, nearly 13,500 lives are lost to gun homicides in the United States every year. Tens of thousands are shot & survive, suffering life-altering injuries & trauma. As is the case nationally, the community gun violence threat is particularly acute for Black and Brown Minnesotans, who make up just 13% of the Minnesota population yet account for 55% of gun homicide victims.

Firearm homicide data in a chart showing an increase.

Statistics to Know

10

10x Black men are about 10x more likely than white Americans to be victims of gun homicide.

14

Black children and teens are 14x more likely than white children and teens of the same age to die by gun homicide.

Communities of color face drastically higher rates of murder than in other communities. Historically, the U.S. government concentrated communities of color in neighborhoods with limited resources and experienced poverty. These neighborhoods where poverty is most concentrated bear the largest brunt of gun homicide, crime, and associated trauma.

Exposure to community gun violence reverberates far beyond those killed or injured; it includes witnessing or having knowledge of acts of gun violence. Exposure to gun violence in communities affects mental & physical health & can reduce quality of life. Those indirectly & directly impacted by community gun violence experience lasting impacts on health and wellbeing.

44%

US adults say they personally know someone who has been shot, either accidentally or intentionally.

57%

Black Americans know someone who has been shot.

23%

Americans say they or someone in their family has been threatened or intimidated by someone using a gun.

Gun violence has an economic cost. Individuals, businesses, & neighborhoods all suffer economically from gun violence. Shootings engender fear in affected neighborhoods, visitors stay away from areas perceived as violent, businesses are forced to relocate or limit hours of operations, and property values decrease income for both homeowners and local governments. Just one less gun homicide in Minneapolis is linked to the creation of 80 jobs and an additional $9.4 million is sales across all businesses the following year.

$763
million

The annual direct cost of Firearm deaths & juries for Minnesotans

$2.2
billion

$2.2 billion in quality-of-life costs.

Communities of color face drastically higher rates of murder than in other communities. Historically, the U.S. government concentrated communities of color in neighborhoods with limited resources and experienced poverty. These neighborhoods where poverty is most concentrated bear the largest brunt of gun homicide, crime, and associated trauma.

Breaking the Cycle: Prevention Strategies that Work

  • Reduce The Flow of Illegal and Ghost Guns
  • Universal Background Checks
  • Violence Interruption and Prevention Strategies
    • Disrupting Cycles of Violence
    • Addressing Root Causes of Firearm Injuries and Deaths

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Resources

The Ricochet of Gun Violence

This event on the impact of gun violence in community, is being held in the MAAHMG’s exhibit Full Circle, The Ricochet of Gun Violence. The program will blend art and policy to pose solutions to the stubborn problem of gun violence.

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Duluth Roundtable

Please join Protect Minnesota later this month in Duluth for an important conversation. As we’re gearing up for the 2023 elections and the 2024 legislative session, it’s more important than ever that the gun violence prevention community has the chance to connect with each other, share our priorities, and voice our hopes for the coming months and years.

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