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The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions

Research Drives Solutions to Save Lives

We conduct rigorous research and use advocacy to implement evidence-based, equitable policies and programs that will prevent gun violence in our communities.


We don’t have to live with gun violence as a normal part of American life

Our team at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions includes highly experienced researchers and public health-trained advocates to address gun violence as an epidemic-level public health emergency. Because gun violence disproportionately impacts communities of color, we ground our work in equity and seek insights from those most impacted on appropriate solutions.

This approach combines evidence-based solutions and effective advocacy to save lives. 

OUR work 

New at the Center

Listen to The Center's Podcast

In "Sufficiently Analogous," the Center's law and policy director, Kelly Roskam, JD, alongside law and policy advisors Tim Carey, JD and Kari Still, JD examine Second Amendment court challenges to gun safety laws and will explore the potential implications of these challenges on public health policies aimed at reducing gun violence. With a focus on providing insightful analysis, the podcast aims to shed light on the intricate legal issues surrounding gun rights and regulations.

The Geography of Gun Violence

Gun death rates vary widely across the United States due to differences in socio-economic factors, demographics, and, importantly, gun policies. In general, the states with the highest gun death rates tend to be states in the South or Mountain West, with weaker gun laws and higher levels of gun ownership, while gun death rates are lower in the Northeast, where gun violence prevention laws are stronger.

* The total number of gun homicide deaths in New Hampshire and Vermont were less than 10 and thus repressed by CDC. Gun homicide deaths are thus listed as “other gun death rate” for these two states. Additionally, “other intents” include legal intervention, unintentional, and unclassified.


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The Latest Research

Defending Democracy: Addressing the Dangers of Armed Insurrection

The report, Defending Democracy: Addressing the Dangers of Armed Insurrection, recounts that the January 6 insurrection in 2021 at the U.S. Capitol was part of a long line of events in which individuals have sought to justify political violence or threats of violence by invoking false claims that the U.S. Constitution protects citizens’ rights to insurrection and the unchecked carrying of firearms in public. The report argues that armed insurrection can be prevented with effective policies and practices at the local, state, and national levels focused on protecting the integrity of the nation’s democratic processes.


Defending Democracy: How Policy Makers Can Protect Free and Fair Elections

Recent U.S. elections have been marked by threats, armed intimidation and political violence. As the 2024 U.S. general election approaches the Center hosted a webinar to discuss solutions against political violence and the threat of armed insurrection. Expert panelists discussed the implications of these threats to our country, public perception, and steps our leaders must take to protect our democratic institutions laid out in the Center's report "Defending Democracy".


Center for Gun Violence Solutions

We address gun violence as a public health emergency and utilize objective, non-partisan research to develop solutions which inform, fuel and propel advocacy to measurably lower gun violence. The Center applies our unique blend of research and advocacy to advance five priority evidence-based gun violence prevention policies. Our research shows that, when enacted in combination, these policies have the potential to save thousands of lives. 

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Research drives solutions to save lives

The Public Health Approach to Prevent Gun Violence

A public health approach to prevent gun violence addresses both firearm access and the factors that contribute to and protect from gun violence. This multidisciplinary approach brings together a range of experts across sectors—including researchers, advocates, legislators, impacted communities, community-based organizations, and others—in a common effort to develop and implement equitable, evidence-based solutions. 

A Successful Example of the Public Health Approach

The public health approach to tackling public health crises in America has been used over the last century to eradicate diseases like polio, reduce smoking deaths, and make cars safer. This public health approach has saved millions of lives. We can learn from the public health successes — like car safety — and apply these lessons to preventing gun violence.

Sources: National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA). Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities and Fatality Rates, 1899-2017; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Vital Statistics System, Mortality 1968-2017 on CDC WONDER Online Database.

One of the greatest American public health successes is our nation's work to make cars safer. To reduce gun violence, we should apply this same time-tested public health approach.

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Quick Facts From 2022 CDC Provisional Data


In 2022, 48,117 people died by guns, an average of one person every 11 minutes. 26,993 people died by gun suicide in 2022. Provisional data shows gun deaths are up 21% since 2019. Overall, the gun death rate decreases, and the number of gun suicides reaches an all-time high. 


In the past decade (2013-2022), the gun death rate among children & teens has increased 87%. Guns were the leading cause of death for children and teens (ages 1-19) in the U.S. for the fifth straight year. Both gun homicides and suicides fueled the increase. 


Black children & teens were 20x as likely to die by firearm homicide compared to their white counterparts, in 2022. The gun suicide rate among Black children & teens (age 10-19) surpassed the rate among white children & teens (age 10-19) for the first time on record. 


The Center recommends 5 evidence-based solutions to prevent gun death and injury: Firearm purchaser licensing, Extreme Risk Protection Orders and Domestic Violence Protection Orders, safe and secure firearm storage practices, strong laws limiting public carry, and community violence intervention programs. 

United States

Firearm Violence

For each firearm death, many more people are shot and survive their injuries, are shot at but not physically injured, or witness firearm violence. Many experience firearm violence in other ways, by living in impacted communities with high levels of violence, losing loved ones to firearm violence, or being threatened with a firearm. Others are fearful to walk in their neighborhoods, attend events, or send their child to school. In short, firearm violence is public health epidemic that has lasting impacts on the health and well-being of everyone on this country. 


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