U.S.: Number of Murder Victims, by weapon type
WeaponNumber of murder victims
Handguns7,936
Firearms, type not stated5,704
Knives or cutting instruments1,630
Other weapons or weapons not stated1,327
Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.)665
Rifles541
Other guns422
Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.)367
Narcotics187
Shotguns186
Asphyxiation98
Fire94
Strangulation20
Poison15
Drowning3
Explosives1
  • Region: United States
  • Time period: 2022
  • Published: Oct 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 28, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Handguns lead in murder weapons

Handguns are the most common murder weapon with 7,936 victims, indicating a significant reliance on firearms for committing homicides in the U.S. in 2022.

Firearms, unspecified, rank second

Firearms, where the type was not stated, resulted in 5,704 murders, underscoring the prevalent role of guns in violent deaths, even when specific types are not identified.

Knives or cutting instruments are the third most used

Knives or cutting instruments were responsible for 1,630 murders, showing that close-contact weapons still play a major role in violent crimes.

Personal weapons also deadly

Personal weapons, such as hands, fists, and feet, caused 665 murders, highlighting the lethal potential of physical assaults without weapons.

Rifles involved in over 500 homicides

Rifles were used in 541 murders, which, despite being a smaller figure compared to handguns, indicates their significant impact on violence.

Other guns and blunt objects contribute to homicide rates

Other guns and blunt objects led to 422 and 367 murders, respectively, pointing to a diverse arsenal employed in violent acts.

Narcotics and shotguns nearly equal in murder counts

Narcotics and shotguns were nearly equal in the number of murder victims, with 187 and 186, respectively, illustrating varied methods of homicide beyond traditional weapons.

Asphyxiation and fire cause under 100 murders each

Asphyxiation and fire were responsible for 98 and 94 murders, respectively, showing less frequent but still notable uses in homicides.

Rare methods: Strangulation, poison, drowning, and explosives

Strangulation, poison, drowning, and explosives had significantly lower counts, with 20, 15, 3, and 1 murder victims, respectively, highlighting the rarity of these methods in homicides.

Unspecified weapons account for over a thousand victims

Other weapons or weapons not stated were involved in 1,327 murders, indicating a substantial number of homicides where the weapon type remains unclear or varied.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the number of victims of murder with knives or cutting instruments?

Knives or cutting instruments were responsible for 1,630 murders.

How many murders occurred due to physical assaults without weapons?

Physical assaults without weapons caused 665 murders.

Terms and Definitions

Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being with intent, which separates it from other forms of homicide like manslaughter. In most legal jurisdictions, there is a wide range of penalties for this crime, often based on its severity or intent, including life imprisonment or, in some places, the death penalty.

A victim is an individual that is on the receiving end of a crime, attack, or other harmful action. In this context, a murder victim is the individual that has been unlawfully killed.

Weapon type refers to the specific type of object or instrumentality used in the commission of a crime. In relation to a murder, this would be the tool used to perpetrate the act of killing, whether a firearm, knife, blunt object, or any other type of instrument.

Homicide is a legal term for any killing of a human by another human. Homicide itself is not necessarily a crime, as it can include justified killings such as self-defense. However, unlawful homicides like murders and manslaughters are criminal offenses.

A firearm is a portable weapon that discharges projectiles driven by rapidly expanding high-pressure gas produced by chemical reactions within a confined space. In common language, it’s often referred to as a gun. Specific types include handguns, shotguns, and rifles.

Bladed weapons are tools or weapons that primarily use an edge designed to cut or stab, such as a knife, sword, or axe. These weapons are ancient and universal, occurring in virtually every culture.

A blunt object is a non-sharp item used as a weapon that damages its target by striking, concussive force, or transfer of kinetic energy. Examples include clubs, batons, baseball bats, or even a heavy vase or frying pan.

Violent crime refers to any criminal offense that involves the use or threat of violence against the victim. It often encompasses crimes such as robbery, assault, and murder.

The crime rate is a measure of the number of crimes committed per unit of population, usually per 100,000 people. It assists in providing a standardized measurement for comparing crime levels between different regions or time periods.
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