Gun deaths in US reach highest level in nearly 40 years, CDC data reveals

NEW YORK — Nearly 40,000 people in the United States died by guns last year, marking the highest number of gun deaths in 38 years, according to a new analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WONDER database.

A similar analysis was first conducted by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, a non-profit gun policy advocacy group.

CNN replicated that analysis and found that 39,773 people died by guns in 2017, which is an increase of more than 10,000 deaths from the 28,874 in 1999.

CDC statisticians confirmed with CNN on Thursday that these numbers are correct and they show gun deaths have reached a record-high going back to at least 1979.

CNN’s analysis also showed that 23,854 people died from suicide by guns in 2017, the highest number in 18 years. That’s a difference of more than 7,000 deaths compared with 16,599 suicide deaths by guns in 1999.

“In 2017, nearly 109 people died every single day from gun violence. Gun violence is a public health epidemic that requires a public health solution, which is why we must immediately enact and implement evidence-based interventions — like permit-to-purchase policies and extreme risk laws,” Adelyn Allchin, the director of public health research for the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, said in a written statement released last week.

“Gun violence has been part of our day-to-day lives for far too long. It is way past time that elected leaders at every level of government work together to make gun violence rare and abnormal.”