Where does Georgia rank in gun violence deaths?

Nearly 100 confiscated illegal firearms—many from out-of-state sources, notably South Carolina—rest on a table before a press conference on October 12, 2012, in New York City.

ATLANTA — Georgia has been steadily rising as one of the top states for gun deaths in the country for more than a decade.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tracked firearm mortality rates for every state in the last few years, including suicides and accidental killings.

  • In 2005, Georgia ranked the 8th highest state with a total of 1,064 deaths.
  • In 2014, Georgia ranked the 4th highest state with a total of 1,394 deaths.
  • In 2015, Georgia ranked 5th highest state with a total of 1,448 deaths.
  • In 2016, Georgia ranked 4th highest state with a total of 1,571 deaths.

The states that generally had more deaths were Texas, California and Florida.

Homicides by firearms generally occur at a greater rate across the South than in other parts of the United States, especially the Northeast, the Upper Midwest and the Pacific Northwest. Hawaii, where nine people were shot to death in 2015, had the lowest death rate —0.6 per 100,000 residents.

Inside Georgia, the most deaths occurred in metro Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution launched an investigation into gun violence in Georgia in 2017.

The Gun Violence Archive compiled data on 91 deaths in Atlanta, although it isn’t clear whether all fell within the jurisdiction of the city’s police department. Savannah led the rest of the state, with 42. (As with other statistics in the study, this number doesn’t reflect the number of murders, but rather homicides — that is, the taking of one life by another person.)

CHART: Homicides by firearms in Georgia, 2015

Georgians are more than twice as likely as New Yorkers to be killed in a shooting. The death rate exceeds even that of Illinois, where Chicago’s epidemic of violence has attracted widespread attention.

CHART: Rate of homicides by firearms