New Comprehensive Study Of Mass Shootings Reveals Prevalence Of Mass Shootings, Role Of Assault Weapons And Strong Connection Between Domestic Violence And Guns

Feb 22, 2013, 14:10 ET from Mayors Against Illegal Guns

57% of Shootings Involve Domestic Violence; Fewer than 1% of Gun Murder Victims Killed in Mass Shootings; Assault Weapons Put the "Mass" in "Mass Shooting"

NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mayors Against Illegal Guns today released the findings and full data set behind a mass shooting analysis updated to reflect the latest FBI data.  The updated release includes a 25% increase in incidents — to a total of 56 over the last four years, more than one per month — strengthening conclusions about where mass shootings occur, what weapons are used, and what other factors are at play.

Among the key findings:

  • In at least 57% of the incidents, the shooter killed a current or former intimate partner or family member.
  • Less than 1% of gun murder victims were killed as part of incidents with four or more victims.
  • Assault weapons or high capacity magazines were used in 23% of the incidents, and when they were used, more than twice the number of people were shot and 57% more were killed.
  • No more than one quarter (23%) of the shootings occurred in public spaces that were so-called 'gun-free zones.'

"Mass shootings capture the public's attention – and we should pass the common-sense reforms that will help to prevent these tragedies from occurring – but we should also remember that 33 Americans are killed every day, and very often by an intimate partner," said Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.  "These findings challenge some of the conventional wisdom about mass shooting and highlight the areas in which further attention and research are needed."

The finding that 57% of mass shootings involve domestic violence is significant.  In separate research using FBI data, Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that in states that require a background check for every handgun sale, 38% fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners.  In contrast, the number of women killed by intimate partners with other weapons is nearly identical in these groups of states.

The full analysis and data set is available here

About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its inception in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 mayors to more than 850 mayors from across the country. We have more than one million grassroots supporters, making us the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country.  The bipartisan coalition, co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, has united the nation's mayors around these common goals: protecting their communities by holding gun offenders and irresponsible gun dealers accountable; demanding access to trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix gaps, weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other prohibited purchasers to get guns.  Learn more at

SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns