US UK Comparative data

The more guns there are in society the more gun violence there is. International studies of high-income countries typically find that firearm availability is positively correlated with firearm homicide and usually overall homicide (Grinshteyn & Hemenway, 2016 American Journal of Medicine, in press). Comparisons between the United States and the UK make this abundantly clear.

The rate of gun ownership is 3.3 per 100 people in the population in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) compared with the US rate of 101, thirty times higher.

The annual rate of gun homicide per 100,000 of the population is currently 0.03 in Great Britain. This compares with 3.6 in the USA, a rate that is 120-fold greater. The total firearms death rate (including suicides and accidents as well) is 51 times higher in the US than in the UK.

Some other figures are worth noting:

  • In the US some two thirds of homicides involve a gun while in Great Britain the figure is approximately 5%. 
  • There were 5,800 handgun homicides in the US in 2013. In the same year in Great Britain - where handguns are prohibited - fewer than 20 murders involved a handgun.

So gun control clearly does work! The UK has a low rate of gun crime but more can be done - people are still being killed and injured unnecessarily.