Gun Violence is a Public Health Issue

Gun violence is the leading cause of premature death in the United States, costing the country approximately $557 billion per year and New York approximately $11.4 billion per year.1 In 2022, there were 44,231 firearm-related deaths and 38,498 firearm-related injuries nationally.2

Both in New York and nationally, gun violence impacts Black and Hispanic communities at higher rates than white communities. Black people are 10 times more likely to be killed and 18 times more likely to be injured by a gun than their white counterparts.3 These numbers are driven by a small subset of neighborhoods that continue to experience a disproportionate burden of gun violence due to historic disinvestment, racist policies, and systemic oppression.

About the Office of Gun Violence Prevention

In 2021, New York State declared the first-in-the-nation gun violence disaster emergency under Executive Order 211 as part of a new, comprehensive strategy to build a safer New York. New York State's strategy treats gun violence as a public health crisis. Under this order, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention (OGVP) was established in the New York State Department of Health's Office of Health Equity and Human Rights.

OGVP is part of a larger violence prevention ecosystem that employs a multidisciplinary approach by working with agency partners across the state, including the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Office of Victim Services.

The mission of OGVP is to build a statewide comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable approach to preventing gun violence through the creation of equity with community-led, place-based prevention strategies and approaches.

With a focus on historically under-resourced NYS communities that experience the highest rates of gun violence, OGVP seeks to address the root causes of gun violence and contribute to the prevention and elimination of gun violence.

Priorities of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention

  1. Coordinate Government and Communities: Advance a unified place-based gun violence prevention approach by bringing together government and communities to remove barriers that drive health inequities, including gun violence.
  2. Invest in Communities: Build capacity of community partners, and create and support local, safe spaces within neighborhoods experiencing highest rates of poverty and violence for youth to engage in culturally relevant therapeutic supports and focused, recreational opportunities.
  3. Build Public Awareness: Use data and storytelling to change public awareness of gun violence and enhance the public narrative on gun violence.
  4. Enhance Hospital Capacity: Create sustainable hospital-based intervention programming (HVIP) and invest in a statewide shift to a primary prevention model within the health care system across New York State.
  5. Strengthen Data Infrastructure: Strengthen data systems to support ongoing data-informed surveillance, prevention, and intervention of gun violence statewide.

There are other statewide efforts to reduce gun violence. Read more about the Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) Initiative, SNUG Street Outreach Program, and the Crime Analysis Center Network programs administered by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

New York State Gun Laws


Injuries, Violence, and Occupational Health in the Prevention Agenda

The first area of focus in the Prevention Agenda 2019-2024, under the Promote a Healthy and Safe Environment Action Plan, is Injuries, Violence and Occupational Health. One goal within the Prevention Agenda plan (goal 1.2) reduces violence by targeting prevention programs particularly to highest risk populations. Objectives and recommended interventions can be found in the Promote a Healthy and Safe Environment Action Plan linked above.


External Links


  1. The Economic Cost of Gun Violence | Everytown Research & Policy
  2. Gun Violence Archive
  3. Impact of Gun Violence on Historically Marginalized Communities