Mass Shootings Becoming More Prevalent, CRS Finds

08.03.15 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Mass murder involving firearms has become more prevalent in the United States over recent decades, according to data presented in a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

In the 1970s, there was an average of 1.1 such mass homicide incidents per year, with 5.5 victims murdered and 2.0 wounded per incident. The numbers have increased each decade since then. By 2010-2013, there was an average of 4.5 incidents per year, with 7.4 victims murdered and 6.3 wounded per incident.

The CRS report said that the prospects for a legislative response to such mass murders might possibly be enhanced if the quality and specificity of reporting on them were improved.

“With improved data, policymakers would arguably have additional vantage points from which to assess the legislative proposals that are inevitably made in the wake of these tragedies.”

CRS therefore suggested requiring federal agencies to report annually on firearms-related mass murders, including data on (1) offender acquisition of firearms, (2) types of firearms used, (3) amounts and types of ammunition carried and shots fired, (4) killed and wounded counts, (5) offender histories of mental illness and domestic violence, and (6) victim-offender relationships.

A copy of the new CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News. See Mass Murder with Firearms, 1999-2013, July 30, 2015.

Other new and updated products from CRS include the following.

Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview, updated July 29, 2015

The Iran Hostages: Efforts to Obtain Compensation, updated July 30, 2015

Consumer and Credit Reporting, Scoring, and Related Policy Issues, July 30, 2015

NLRB Weighs In on Insulting Facebook Posts Cases, CRS Legal Sidebar, July 31, 2015

License Plates and Public Signs: Government First Amendment Speech, CRS Legal Sidebar, July 29, 2015

Patent Litigation Reform Legislation in the 114th Congress, updated July 29, 2015

Filling the Senate “Amendment Tree,” CRS Insights, July 28, 2015

Defense Health Program Funding Shortfall for Fiscal Year 2015, CRS Insights, July 30, 2015

The Federal Tax Treatment of Married Same-Sex Couples, updated July 30, 2015

Expansion of WTO Information Technology Agreement Targets December Conclusion, CRS Insights, July 28, 2015

Mexico’s Oil and Gas Sector: Background, Reform Efforts, and Implications for the United States, updated July 30, 2015

The 2015 National Military Strategy: Background and Questions for Congress, CRS Insights, July 29, 2015