All-too easy access to guns and ammunition as well as the resulting gun violence are a major and deadly problem in the United States. In 2017, every day, on average more than 42 Americans were killed by gun violence; there were more than 31,000 firearm-related injuries that year. That same year, almost 4,000 American children younger than age 17 were either killed or injured by a gun. From mass shootings to street shootings, gun homicides today are a common cause of death in the United States, killing about as many people as car crashes. "Survivors" of gun violence are often crippled, with many in constant pain; children are left as orphans; whole communities terrorized and scarred; and parents and families members are left broken and destroyed.
Gun violence disproportionately impacts communities of color in the United States. Gun violence is the number one killer of African Americans aged 15 to 34. Despite the fact that African Americans make up only 13% of the U.S. population, we represent nearly 50% of all gun homicide victims. Over 80% of gun deaths of African Americans are homicides. 49% of deaths of African-American males between ages 15 and 19 are homicides — more than the next nine leading causes of death combined. Their white counterparts die from homicides in less than 8% of deaths. Nearly 70% of all homicides in 2014 were "firearm homicides," which means that roughly 34% of African-American males who die between the ages of 15 and 19 are killed by a gun.
Given the disproportionate damage gun violence is having on our communities, the NAACP has advocated for a number of sane, sensible laws which will help eliminate or decrease the damage and death caused by gun violence. We strongly support several sensible proposals which together will do a lot to help keep dangerous firearms off our streets and out of the hands of those who should not have access to them.