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What to Know About Gun Violence in Florida

As the Florida legislature returns to Tallahassee for committee work next week, Senator Bill Galvano will again have the opportunity to charge the Senate to support legislation requiring a background check on every gun sale. This legislation would go far to address the gun violence crisis in Florida, which takes many forms. 

Gun violence in Florida by the numbers: 

  • 2,568 people are shot and killed with a gun every year;  63% of those deaths are gun suicides. On average, one Florida resident dies by gun suicide every 5 hours.
  • Black people in Florida are 7 times as likely to die by gun homicide as white people.
  • Florida has the 19th highest rate of gun homicide in the United States; 73% of all homicides in Florida involve a gun. 
  • In an average year, 175 children and teens die by gun in Florida; Black children and teens are 3 times as likely as their white peers to die by guns. 
  • Firearms are the 2nd leading cause of death for children and teens. 
  • From 2013-2017, 273 people were fatally shot by an intimate partner in Florida.

Background checks and Florida: 

  • In a single year, there were nearly 100,000 online gun sale ads on Armlist.com in Florida where no background check was required. And one in seven prospective Florida buyers on that site would have failed a background check.
  • Only 1.4% of background checks were denied in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available — meaning more than 98% of Florida purchases were not affected by the background check.
  • State laws requiring background checks for all handgun sales are associated with lower firearm homicide rates, lower firearm suicide rates and lower firearm trafficking. A 2019 analysis found that states with laws requiring background checks for all gun sales have homicide rates 10 percent lower than states without them.

If you’d like to interview a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America about the need for background checks in Florida, please don’t hesitate to reach out.