Weapon types used in mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and November 2018

Weapons used in mass shootings in the U.S., as of November 2018 The statistic shows the weapon types used in mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and November 7, 2018. These calculations are based on 106 mass shooting incidents reported by the source*. A total of 50 rifles have been used in 42 mass shootings between 1982 and November 2018.
While handguns are the most commonly used weapon type in mass shootings, assault rifles gained attention in public discussion over the suitability or necessity of semi-automatic rifles for the purpose of self-defense. Semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 have been used in a number of mass-shootings including the Waffle House shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, and the Colorado Springs shooting rampage.
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Number of weapons usedNumber of incidents
Handguns14086
Rifles5042
Shotguns**2926
Number of weapons usedNumber of incidents
Handguns14086
Rifles5042
Shotguns**2926
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Description Source More information
The statistic shows the weapon types used in mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and November 7, 2018. These calculations are based on 106 mass shooting incidents reported by the source*. A total of 50 rifles have been used in 42 mass shootings between 1982 and November 2018.
While handguns are the most commonly used weapon type in mass shootings, assault rifles gained attention in public discussion over the suitability or necessity of semi-automatic rifles for the purpose of self-defense. Semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 have been used in a number of mass-shootings including the Waffle House shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, and the Colorado Springs shooting rampage.
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Release date
November 2018
Region
United States
Survey time period
1982 to November 7, 2018
Supplementary notes
Handguns includes pistols, revolvers, derringers and other unspecified semi-automatic handguns.

Rifles includes non-automatic, semi-automatic, and illegally modified rifles.

*At the time of publication, no firearm type data was available for the Bakersfield, California shooting that occurred on the 12th of September.
*Firearms used in the Las Vegas Strip massacre are not included as a result of unspecific data. There were 23 firearms used, most of which were rifles, however no more specific information is available in the source.

**The Pennsylvania supermarket shooting that occurred on July 16, 2015 is recorded as shotguns (plural) though no specific figure is given. In this case the data has been included as one shotgun that that one incident.

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