6 Ways to Reduce Gun Violence in America

Gun violence in the United States is a public health crisis.

It goes beyond the mass shootings that grab the nation’s attention. Every day, gun violence takes lives from communities all across the country in the form of suicides, unintentional shootings, and interpersonal conflicts that become fatal due to easy access to guns.

Yet this violence is not inevitable. In 2018, the Center for American Progress released a comprehensive analysis of actions that could be taken to reduce gun violence in America. There is no single, simple solution to reducing gun violence in this country. But these commonsense reforms offer a starting point.

People protest gun violence in Washington, D.C.
More than 750,000 people gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., to advocate for gun violence prevention on March 24, 2018. (Getty/Giles Clarke)

In this series

Disarm All Domestic Abusers
A girl sits among lighted candles during the traditional commemorative ceremony held for domestic violence victims at Chicago's North Avenue Beach, October 2017. (Getty/Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency)
Fact Sheet

Disarm All Domestic Abusers

Guns in the hands of domestic abusers pose an extreme risk to victims of abuse.

Support Local Violence Prevention and Intervention Programs
People attend a vigil and rally for a shooting victim in Brooklyn, New York, June 2013. (Getty/Spencer Platt)
Fact Sheet

Support Local Violence Prevention and Intervention Programs

A comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence must include support for evidence-based violence intervention programs that engage all community stakeholders.

Require Background Checks for All Gun Sales
A man in Florida fills out background check paperwork as he purchases a handgun, January 2016. (Getty/Joe Raedle)
Fact Sheet

Require Background Checks for All Gun Sales

A glaring gap in the federal law allows individuals to buy a gun without a background check and with no questions asked.

Enable the CDC to Research Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue
A pillar stands outside the former main entrance to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at Roybal Campus in Atlanta, 2001. (Getty/Smith Collection/Gado)
Fact Sheet

Enable the CDC to Research Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue

Two decades of restrictions on public health research into gun violence has left us willfully ignorant about the full scope of this problem and the most effective interventions to prevent it.

Read the latest from CAP's Gun Violence Prevention team