Homicides surged in the U.S. by nearly 30% in 2020, the largest annual increase since record keeping began. The same year, U.S. firearm sales hit an all-time high of nearly 23 million, increasing 24% from 2019, according to consulting firm Small Arms Analytics.

The increase in gun sales at the same time that murders spiked may be more than mere coincidence. Based on local police department data compiled by the FBI, an estimated 77% of murders were committed with a firearm in 2020. Firearm homicide numbers vary considerably by state, however.

In Minnesota, a total of 189 murders committed in 2020 had a weapon associated it. Of those murders with a known weapon type, 75.1% involved a firearm, the 18th most of the 45 states with available data.

Nationwide, handguns are by far the most commonly used firearm type in murder cases, and in Minnesota, handguns were used in 79 of the 142 murder cases involving firearms.

According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the overall murder rate in Minnesota stands at 3.4 for every 100,000 people, compared to the national homicide rate of 6.5 per 100,000.

 

RankStateShare of homicides involving a gun, 2020 (%)Total murders involving a gun, 2020Total murders involving a handgun, 2020
1Delaware89.26632
2Illinois86.7896762
3Wyoming85.71210
4Tennessee85.4566234
5Louisiana85.1593242
6South Carolina84.5453240
7Kentucky84.5261155
8Missouri82.9470265
9Maryland81.6400354
10Virginia80.7423212
11Michigan79.2595237
12Indiana78.5366246
13North Carolina78.2580325
14Texas77.41491751
15Ohio76.8600269
16Arkansas76.3235104
17Iowa75.78433
18Minnesota75.114279
19Rhode Island75.0244
20Wisconsin74.922785
21Massachusetts73.111764
22California72.916061032
23Utah72.86743
24Kansas70.86331
25Oregon70.58643
26Connecticut70.09823
27New Jersey69.6229156
28Colorado68.9202141
29Arizona68.7292219
30Maine68.21510
31West Virginia67.66938
32Oklahoma67.5197140
33Nebraska66.14131
34New York64.7517415
35Vermont64.396
36Idaho64.12518
37New Mexico63.38829
38Nevada62.210777
39Washington59.4177102
40New Hampshire50.063
41Montana49.12816
42Alaska45.82216
43North Dakota45.2145
44Hawaii41.0165
45South Dakota40.82013