Homicides using guns up 31 percent, CDC finds

The number of homicides committed using guns has gone up by nearly a third nationwide in recent years, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC found a 31 percent increase in homicides involving firearms from 2014 to 2016. In 2014, 11,008 homicides involved a gun. The number rose to 14,415 by 2016, the CDC team said.

Guns were by far the most common weapon used in homicides, the CDC team found.

Number of Homicides Committed, by the Three Most Common Methods* -- United States, 2010-2016

"In 2016, the number of homicides involving firearms was approximately eight times the number of those involving cutting and piercing (1,781) and approximately 30 times those involving suffocation (502)," the CDC team wrote in the agency's weekly report.

The CDC regularly reports bare-bones statistics. The latest report is based on death certificates.

It also regularly reports on gun deaths,but its role in researching the underlying causes has been limited by the so-called Dickey Amendment, which is tacked on to congressional funding legislation every year. It bars the CDC from using federal funding to "advocate or promote gun control."

There's no question that the U.S. leads the world in gun deaths, but there's disagreement over how much of a role is played by the high rates of firearm ownership in the U.S. and the relative lack of regulation on who can buy guns and what kind of weapons are available. One study in 2015 found that one in three Americans owns a gun.

40 PHOTOS
Photographer's polaroids tell the story of crime in Chicago
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Photographer's polaroids tell the story of crime in Chicago
A person walks by a bullet hole in a restaurant window that is linked to the shooting of Manuel Hernandez, 30-year-old, taken at the 2700 block of West 51st Street in Chicago, Illinois on September 28, 2017. Hernandez was killed on September 21, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- ragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A vigil in the memory of Miriam Cruz Hurtado, 31-year-old, and her son Corbin Dallas Barraza, 4-year-old, in the 1700 block of North Mannheim Road in Stone Park, Illinois,on September 24, 2017. Hurtado and Barraza were both strangled and stabbed to death at their home on September 21, 2017. Daniel Barraza, 32-year-old, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Johnson 'John John' Liggins Jr.,17-year-old, at the Gatlings Funeral Home in Chicago, Illinois on November 3, 2017. Higgins died from gunshots to his head and chest in the 8000 block of South Coles Avenue on October 23, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A vigil for Damien Santoyo, 14-year-old, who died on August 6, 2017 on the steps after being shot in the head during a drive-by shooting in the 1700 block of South Newberry Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on August 7, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
The bicycles of 5-year-old twins Addison and Makayla Henning are seen on their front lawn in the 400 block of North Reed Street in suburban Joliet, Illinois on August 31, 2017. The girls died from multiple gun shots to the head and their mother Celisa Henning, 41-year-old, died from a single gunshot on August 28, 2017 in what police are investigating as a murder-suicide. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Troy Burtin, 25-year-old, is remembered on a cross in the 3400 block of West Walnut Street in Chicago, Illinois on June 21, 2017. Burton was shot in the head and chest in the 2700 block of West Lexington and died on September 2, 2015. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A vigil for Damien Santoyo, 14-year-old, who died on August 6, 2017 on the steps after being shot in the head during a drive-by shooting in the 1700 block of South Newberry Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on August 7, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A rose and melted wax from candles used at a vigil for Daniel Cordova, 26-year-old, in the 2500 block of West 46th Place in Chicago, Ilinois on May 8, 2017. Cordova, was found dead at the scene on May 7, 2017, and died of multiple gunshot wounds. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Candles are lit in memory of Joshua Rayborn, 28-year-old, outside his home in the 2900 block of South Arch Street in Chicago, Illinois on September 20, 2017. Rayburn, who is married with two children, died form a gunshot wound to his chest on September 18, 2017. An 18-year-old is charged with first-degree murder in his death. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Police tape marking off a crime scene near the 2600 block of West 46th Place where Adriana Williams, 27-year-old, and her brother Michael Williams, 24-year-old, were killed in Chicago, Illinois on May 8, 2017. Both Williams' were shot on May 7, 2017, while attending a memorial for their friend Daniel Cordova, 26-year-old, who was killed around 13 hours earlier on the same block. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Flowers are placed in a doorway for Cynthia Trevillion, 64-year-old, at the 6900 block of North Glenwood Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on October 15, 2017. Trevillion, a teacher at Chicago Waldorf School in Rogers Park, was an unintended target and caught in crossfire from a drive-by shooting while walking with her husband. Trevillion died from gunshot wounds to her head and neck on October 13, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Flowers and a candle are placed in a bush for Jeyson Gonzalez, 15-year-old, in an alley near the 4400 block of Maplewood Avenue in Chicago in this photo taken October 28, 2017. Gonzalez was shot wile walking in the alley with another boy, who was also seriously wounded in the incident on October 26, 2017. Two teenagers have been charged with his murder. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A sign is posted on a tree for a memorial for Elizabeth Kennedy, 36-year-old, in the 3300 block of West Marquette Road in Chicago, Illinois on October 25, 2017. Kennedy, a mother of three, was stabbed in the chest while trying to break up an argument on October 21, 2017. Eddie Crowder, 50-year-old, is charged with first-degree murder. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A vigil for Semaj Crosby, 17-month-old, outside her home in the 300 block of Louis Road in Joliet, Illinois on April 28, 2017. Crosby was reported missing on April 25, but was later found under a couch in her home on April 27. Her death is being ruled as a homicide by asphyxia. No one has been charged in her death. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A memorial on a man hole cover for Ida Arvizu, 28-year-old, in the 4700 block of South Fairfield Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on September 17, 2017. Arvizu, who was pregnant, and also has a 7 year-old daughter, was shot and killed with three other victims while sitting in a car on September 15, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A teddy bear is placed in a chain link fence for Jeanine Dowell, 32-year-old, and Juliet Washington, 41-year-old, in the 5400 block of South Wabash in Chicago, Illinois on June, 29, 2017. Both women were killed from multiple gunshot wounds while driving in a car on June 28, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A vigil for Gustavo Garcia, 10-year-old, on the overpass at East 95th and Avenue N in Chicago, Illinois on July 19, 2017. Garcia was fatally shot in the back while riding in a vehicle with his step-father on July 15, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A message is written on a post for Michelle 'Kano' Cano, 21-year-old, in the 4700 block of South Fairfield Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on September 17, 2017. Cano was shot to death, along with three others, while sitting in a car on September 15, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A cross for Jawon Garrett sits among dozens of other crosses at a make-shift memorial for the victims of violence in the 5500 block of South Bishop Street in Chicago, Illinois on September 25, 2017. Garrett, 40-year-old, died from multiple gunshots to the body in 2300 block of West Madison Street on September 13, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A wilted rose is placed on a wooden cross for Juan A, Vasquez, 35-year-old, at a makeshift memorial in Chicago, Illinois on June 29, 2017. Vasquez died from his injuries on January 11, 2017, 11 days after being shot in the head. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A mural is painted on the side of store in the 400 block of East 63rd Street in Chicago, an area also known as 'Murder Drive' in this photo taken October 11, 2017. The area is also known as 'O Block' near where former first lady Michelle Obama grew up. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A memorial for Xavier Joy, 23-year-old, in a parking lot in the 6200 block of South Ingleside Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on November 3, 2017. Joy was shot several times and died June 8, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A brick with the name of Hadiyah Pendleton, 15-year-old, is seen stacked up with the bricks for other victims of violence at the Kids Off the Block Memorial in the 11600 block of South Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on October 9, 2017. Pendleton, a majorette, who performed at U.S. President Barack Obama's second inauguration, was shot in the back in the 4500 block of South Oakenwald Avenue on January 29, 2013. Two alleged gang member have been arrested and charged with her murder. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A balloon for Community Activist William 'Willie' Cooper, 58-year-old, is seen next to a billboard in the 100 block of West 95th Street in Chicago, Illinois on July 18, 2017. Cooper was shot in the mouth and torso from an AR-15 assault rifle during a drive-by shooting and died at the scene on July 15, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A memorial for Eduardo Pena, 21-year-old, at the 5700 block of South Kenzie Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on October 25, 2017. Pena, who was driving in a vehicle, was rammed from behind by a driver in a truck and crashed into a tree two blocks away. Pena died from injuries from the crash on October 22, two days before his birthday. Police are treating it as a homicide. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Balloons blow in the wind as part of a memorial for Kenta Holyfield, 39-year-old, and Lonnie Hartman, 31-year-old, outside a store in the 3800 block of West Augusta in Chicago, Illinois on October 28, 2017. Holyfield who died from gunshots to his head and chest, and Hartman who was shot multiple times in his body, were both murdered on October 27, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Flowers are placed in a doorway for Cynthia Trevillion, 64-year-old, at the 6900 block of North Glenwood Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on October 15, 2017. Trevillion, a teacher at Chicago Waldorf School in Rogers Park, was an unintended target and caught in crossfire from a drive-by shooting while walking with her husband. Trevillion died from gunshot wounds to her head and neck on October 13, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Crosses lay in memory of family members including Rosaura Martinez, 58-year-old, who was stabbed to death in the 5700 block of South California Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on September 26, 2017. Martinez and 5 others were found dead in their home on February 4, 2016. Diego Uribe Cruz, 22-year-old, and Jafeth Ramos, 19-year-old, have been charged in the robbery that turned to murder on February 4, 2016. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A paramedic's glove is seen on the ground at 200 block of South Hoyne Avenue in Chicago, Illinois where Antwon High, 26-year-old, on June 21, 2017. High died from a gunshot wound to the chest on June 20, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Michael Fickett,17-year-old, is remembered on a mural for victims of murder in the 2700 block of 47th street in Chicago, Illinois on September 20, 2017. Fickett was shot in the chest in the 5700 block of South Homan and died August 9, 1992. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A cross is laid in honor of Elliott Brown, 25-year-old, in a field next to New Life Covenant Church in Chicago, Illinois on June 20, 2017. Brown was shot in his car while driving on the Chicago Skyway bridge January 13, 2016. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A memorial in a parking lot for Tony Haywood, 25-year-old, in the 7900 block of South Chicago Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on July 23, 2017. Haywood died from multiple gunshot wounds and family member used white pain to cover up the blood from the shooting which happened on July 17, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A memorial for Jazebel Aleman, 3-year-old, near her home in the 2500 block of South Homan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on June 21, 2017. Aleman died of multiple injuries resulting from an assault on June 18, 2017. Prosecutors have charged Eduardo Aleman, 26-year-old, with the beating death of his daughter. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Balloons are tied to a pole in memory of Jeremy Scullark, 28-year-old, on the feeder ramp to the Dan Ryan Expressway near Cermak Road in Chicago, Illinois on April 22, 2017. Scullark was shot and killed while driving in a car on April 19, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A vigil for Irving Estrada, 17-years-old, in the 1600 block of South 56th Court in Cicero, Illinois, on August 23, 2017. Estrada was shot while playing basketball on the court on August 22, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A memorial in a parking lot for Tony Haywood, 25-year-old, in the 7900 block of South Chicago Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on July 23, 2017. Haywood died from multiple gunshot wounds and family member used white pain to cover up the blood from the shooting which happened on July 17, 2017. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
A man holds up a sign during a memorial for Emmanuel Fleming, 34-year-old, and Michael Swift, 46-year-old, in Chicago, Illinois on August 14, 2017. Fleming and Swift were shot on the steps of the Friendship Baptist Church in the 200 block of South Laramie Avenue as they arrived for Sunday service on August 13, 2017. Both men died from multiple gunshot wounds. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Melted candles lay on the ground in memory of Angelique Morris, 17-years-old, in the 10400 block of Michael Todd Terrace in Glenview, Illinois, in this photo taken July 10, 2017. Morris died from a gunshot wound to the head in the 9900 block of Linda Lane in Des Plaines, Illinois on July 8, 2017. A 17-year-old boy has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Police investigate the shooting deaths of Emmanuel Fleming, 34-year-old, and Michael Swift, 46-year-old, at the Friendship Baptist Church in Chicago in this photo taken August 13, 2017. Fleming and Swift were shot on the steps of the church in the 200 block of South Laramie Avenue as they arrived for Sunday service on August 13, 2017. Both men died from multiple gunshot wounds. These are the images of Chicago's murders -- tragedies playing out in the third largest American city in numbers unmatched by any other major US metropolis. Canadian photographer Jim Young spent six months chronicling the human toll of the runaway bloodshed plaguing the Midwest's capital and his adopted hometown, captured through images of memorials and murder scenes. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
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Daniel Webster, a gun policy expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said one surprising factor behind the recent increase in gun killings is the outcry against police killings of unarmed people.

Gun deaths went up in Baltimore, he said, alongside the unrest that followed the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in police custody. Police pulled back from much of the day-in, day-out patrolling they had been doing in many parts of the city. "That kind of policing activity dropped substantially," Webster said.

"Policing was preoccupied with quelling the riots. There is evidence of a pullback of general policing activities by Baltimore police," Webster, who wrote a detailed report on the effect in January, told NBC News.

"When you add a breakdown in trust between communities and police, I think that is a recipe for more violence."

Webster also noted that more states were loosening rules on gun ownership and the carrying of guns around the same time that firearms homicide rates went up.

21 PHOTOS
Protests against gun violence following Florida school shooting
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Protests against gun violence following Florida school shooting
Students who walked out of their Montgomery County, Maryland, schools protest against gun violence in front of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Protestors rally outside the Capitol urging Florida lawmakers to reform gun laws, in the wake of last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Colin Hackley TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Students from South Plantation High School carrying placards and shouting slogans walk on the street during a protest in support of the gun control, following a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Plantation, Florida, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL, PARKLAND, FLORIDA. 02/25/2018 In the background, the school building, now slated to be demolished, where 17 children and teachers were killed by lone gunman Nikolas Cruz. On February 14, 2018, a former school Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz entered the school at 2.30pm and proceeded to kill 3 teachers and 14 school children in a 7 minute shooting spree. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is located in Parkland, Florida, in the Miami metropolitan area. It is a part of the Broward County Public School district, and it is the only public high school in Parkland. (Photo by Giles Clarke/Getty Images)
Students from South Plantation High School carrying placards and shouting slogans walk on the street during a protest in support of the gun control, following a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Plantation, Florida, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Melissa Conrad-Freed, former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and Mark Forst, mourn close to the fence of Western High School during a protest in support of the gun control, in Davie, Florida, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
After walking out of class with hundreds of her fellow students at Walt Whitman High School in Montgomery County, Maryland, Gwen Parks holds up her hands during a protest against gun violence in front of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Students from South Plantation High School carrying placards and shouting slogans walk on the street during a protest in support of the gun control, following a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Plantation, Florida, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Students from South Plantation High School carrying placards and shouting slogans walk on the street during a protest in support of the gun control, following a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Plantation, Florida, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
A protester holds a sign at a Call To Action Against Gun Violence rally by the Interfaith Justice League and others in Delray Beach, Florida, U.S. February 19, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Students who walked out of their classes at Montgomery County, Maryland schools, protest against gun violence in front of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Students who walked out of their Montgomery County, Maryland, schools protest against gun violence in front of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Baltimore students outside City Hall stage a #gunsdowngradesup school walkout on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 to protest gun violence in schools and the city. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images)
Students from South Plantation High School carrying placards and shouting slogans walk on the street during a protest in support of the gun control, following a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Plantation, Florida, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
SOMERVILLE, MA - FEBRUARY 28: Senior Gabriel Kafka-Gibbons, left, and junior Seweryn Brzezinski, center, sit on the sidewalk during a student walkout at Somerville High School in Somerville, MA on Feb. 28, 2018. Some 200 Somerville High School students walked out at 8:17 a.m. to demand an end to gun-related violence in the wake of the attack in a Florida high school that left 17 people dead. The students exited the school as scheduled, at a time that reflects the number of staffers and students murdered Feb. 14 at a Parkland, FL, school, and then gathered outside as part of a 17-minute long silent protest. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2018 -- Students from Washington local high schools demonstrate for stricter gun control outside the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on Feb. 21, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he has recommended that 'bump stocks', devices that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire hundreds of rounds per minute, be banned, while debates on gun rights continue across the country. (Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images)
MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL, PARKLAND, FLORIDA. 02/25/2018 A young school child holds a sign 'Protect Children NOT Guns' at Stoneman Douglas High School. On February 14, 2018, a former school Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz entered the school at 2.30pm and proceeded to kill 3 teachers and 14 school children in a 7 minute shooting spree. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is located in Parkland, Florida, in the Miami metropolitan area. It is a part of the Broward County Public School district, and it is the only public high school in Parkland. Photo by Giles Clarke/Getty Images
Rabbi Jack Romberg speaks at a rally during which several thousand protestors urge Florida lawmakers to reform gun laws outside the Capitol, in the wake of last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Colin Hackley
Protestors rally outside the Capitol urging Florida lawmakers to reform gun laws, in the wake of last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Colin Hackley
Protestors rally outside the Capitol urging Florida lawmakers to reform gun laws, in the wake of last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Colin Hackley
Protestors rally outside the Capitol urging Florida lawmakers to reform gun laws, in the wake of last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Colin Hackley
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"Regulation of permits became more relaxed," he said. That's true — all 50 states now allow concealed carrying of weapons, compared with 31 in 1981. And 12 states allow concealed carrying without a permit.

"More people are walking and driving with guns because they feel unsafe. They don't feel the police can protect them," Webster said.

Several groups, including a team at the Harvard School of Public Health, have linked the free availability of guns with a rise in gun deaths.

Opponents of gun control often argue that someone bent on killing someone else will find a way to do it. But Webster noted the CDC's data showed that killings using a knife or by suffocation were far lower than deaths by firearms.

"If your sole objective is to kill someone, the very logical thing is to use a firearm," Webster said.

"It is far more successful. You can have literally dozens of stab wounds and survive if they don't hit the right place on you. The amount of tissue damage from a gunshot wound is so dramatically different from the tissue damage of someone stabbing you. Weapons matter."

The CDC data did not include firearms deaths other than homicides. Most deaths involving guns in the U.S. are suicides. The CDC says 36,252 people died by firearms in 2015, and of those, 22,018 were suicides.

"The fact is, even more than depression or substance abuse, the strongest predictor of how likely a person is to die from suicide is a gun in the home," Dan Gross, president of the Brady Center and Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a 2016 report.

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