Murder in the US - number of victims by weapon 2018

Which weapon is predominantly used in murder cases?

In the United States, handguns are predominantly used in murder cases, with 6,603 cases in 2018 alone. This is followed by firearms (type not stated) and knives or cutting instruments with 2,963 and 1,515 cases respectively in 2018.

Murder in the U.S.

The majority of murders in the U.S. are committed under unknown circumstances, and murders due to arguments come in as the second most common circumstance. Despite these gruesome facts, the violent crime rate has fallen significantly since 1990, and the United States is much safer than it was in the 1980s and 1990s.

Leading cause of death

The death rate in the U.S. has hovered around the same level since 1990. Heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory diseases were the three leading causes of death in the country in 2016. The rate of death by heart disease is significantly higher than the homicide rate in the United States.

Number of murder victims in the United States in 2018, by weapon

Number of murder victims
Handguns 6,603
Firearms, type not stated 2,963
Knives or cutting instruments 1,515
Other weapons or weapons not stated 900
Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.)*672
Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.) 443
Rifles 297
Shotguns 235
Other guns 167
Asphyxiation 90
Narcotics 78
Fire 72
Strangulation 70
Drowning 9
Poison 5
Explosives 4
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Release date

September 2019


United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*Pushed is included in personal weapons.

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Statistics on "Firearms in the United States"

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