Gun violence in the U.S. costs $557 billion each year, including $12.62 billion paid by taxpayers, concludes research from Everytown for Gun Safety. The report covers immediate costs starting at the scene of a shooting, later costs such as long-term physical and mental health care, lost earnings and criminal justice costs, and puts a dollar value on the pain, suffering and lost well-being of victims and their families. The group says the high price tag, the equivalent of 2.6 percent of gross domestic product, places the U.S. at a sharp economic disadvantage in the global economy. Money that could be invested in education, workforce development, or building safer communities is instead being spent on the aftermath of gun violence.
The analysis highlights that states with strong gun safety laws have a lower cost for gun violence than states with lax gun laws. The report includes a calculator tool that estimates the economic cost of specific shootings, including the cost to taxpayers. The tool allows policymakers and community members to see how much gun violence continues to cost their communities. , adding to the case for immediate action and investment in gun violence prevention. “While we can’t put a number on the devastating emotional cost of gun violence, we can calculate its economic cost — and it adds up to more than half a trillion dollars a year,” said Everytown president John Feinblatt. “When lawmakers bow down to the [National Rifle Association], the American people end up footing the bill.”