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CDC Data Show Gun Violence Killed More People Than Motor Vehicles in 2017; Everytown, Moms Demands Action Respond

NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, today responded to newly released data showing that in 2017, for the first time in modern history, substantially more Americans were killed with firearms than in motor vehicle accidents. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 39,773 people were killed by gun violence in 2017 – approximately 1,100 more than were killed by motor vehicle accidents.

As recently as 2004, nearly 14,000 more people were killed by motor vehicle accidents than by gun violence. But as motor vehicle deaths continued to drop steadily, a result attributed largely to policy, technological and cultural changes over several decades, as well as investments in research, the gap narrowed. Between 2013 and 2016, the two figures were approximately equal.

The new 2017 figures come as gun safety groups and a growing number of lawmakers call on the incoming Congress to prioritize legislation requiring a background check on all gun sales.

“This news is a bracing reminder that America’s gun violence crisis grows more urgent with each passing year — but that’s not the only lesson in these numbers,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Common-sense laws to make American cars, roads and drivers safer played a key role in the steady decline of auto deaths — and common-sense laws are exactly what we need to make American communities safer from gun violence.”

“These numbers demonstrate why the movement to prevent gun violence is growing so quickly – far too many Americans know the weight of an empty chair at their holiday table and are fed up with inaction,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Come January, lawmakers should view our nation’s gun violence crisis for what it is: a public health crisis. It’s time that Republicans and Democrats work together towards solutions that can save lives.”