U.S.: Mass Shootings, by state

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 28, 2024 | Published by: Statistico | About Us | Data sources

California leads in mass shootings

California has experienced the highest number of mass shootings, with a total of 26. This is double the number reported in Texas and Florida, each having 13 incidents, ranking them jointly as the second most affected states.

Four states share the fourth position

Colorado, with 8 incidents, stands out as the state with the fourth highest number of mass shootings. This distinguishes Colorado significantly from states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Illinois, and New York, each reporting 5 to 6 incidents.

Majority of states report fewer than 5 incidents

A significant majority of states, 35 out of 50, have reported fewer than 5 mass shootings each over the period 1982-2023. This highlights a concentration of higher frequency incidents in a small number of states.

Single incidents in nearly one-fifth of states

19 states have reported only one mass shooting incident each. This suggests that while mass shootings are a national issue, their occurrence is sporadic in nearly 40% of U.S. states.

No state is without an incident

Every state has experienced at least one mass shooting, indicating that mass shootings are a pervasive issue across the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which state has experienced the most mass shootings?

California has experienced the most with a total of 26 mass shootings.

How many states report fewer than 5 mass shootings?

A significant majority, 35 out of 50 states, have reported fewer than 5 mass shootings each.

Are there any states that have not experienced a mass shooting?

No, every state has experienced at least one mass shooting.

Terms and Definitions

A mass shooting is an incident in which four or more people, excluding the perpetrator, are shot, injured, or killed in a single event at the same location, at roughly the same time. This definition does not necessarily include domestic incidents or other violent incidents where the motive might be personal and not intended to harm random individuals.

Gun control legislation refers to laws and policies that regulate the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification, or use of firearms by civilians. These laws can greatly vary between different states in the U.S., impacting the frequency and impact of mass shootings.

State gun laws are a set of legal provisions within a particular U.S. state that govern the use, possession, and sale of firearms and ammunition. These laws can range from very strict to very liberal, depending on the state. They are a key factor to consider when looking at mass shootings by various states.

A firearm is a portable device used to project force by discharging projectiles driven by rapidly expanding high-pressure gas produced by chemical reactions within a confined space. In the context of mass shootings, firearms can range from handguns to semi-automatic and automatic rifles.

A perpetrator is the individual or group of individuals who carry out a harmful, illegal, or immoral act. In the case of mass shootings, the perpetrator is the individual who initiates gunfire and harms or kills multiple individuals.

Victims are the individuals who bear the harm or suffer the consequences of an illegal, harmful, or immoral action. In the context of mass shootings, victims are the individuals who are injured or killed in the shooting event.

A background check in the context of gun sales is a process a potential buyer must go through that investigates their past, typically focusing on criminal records, to assess their suitability to own a gun. It is a preventative measure intended to reduce gun violence and mass shootings.
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