Department of Commerce launches new Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention

Shalisa Hayes’s son, Billy Ray, was shot and killed in August 2011. He was 17 years old. (Photo courtesy of Shalisa Hayes)
Text box that describes how mass shootings tend to generate national headlines and there is research that suggests the increased coverage spur discussion among policymakers. The policies to address mass shootings are different from those to address community violence, which is less likely to generate the same level of news coverage.
Map of Washington showing hot spots where there are high numbers of people killed by guns. The most prominent hot spots appear along the Puget Sound, Yakima area and Spokane area.
This heat map shows where there is a higher concentration of firearm-related homicides in Washington (based on the residence of the victim). Data from 2016–2019. | Source: Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics

Tallying the costs of gun violence

The loss of a loved one is, in many ways, impossible to quantify. The emotional and financial toll on a family can feel indescribable. But researchers have identified that the direct and indirect costs of gun violence in Washington state are more than $3.8 billion annually.

Graphic shows the various costs of gun violence and how they add up to $3.8 billion per year. The largest portion of the graph is for pain and suffering, which is $2.5 billion a year. The second largest portion is $1.2 billion in lost income. Health care, criminal justice costs and employer costs are also included.
The direct and indirect costs of gun violence in Washington state are more than $3.8 billion per year. INFORMATION SOURCE: Giffords Law Center

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Washington State Department of Commerce

Washington State Department of Commerce

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Washington State Department of Commerce official news and information. Our mission is to strengthen communities in our state.