How often has federal gun control legislation been effected in response to mass shootings?
Three of the articles The Knife analyzed on public officials’ responses to the Las Vegas shooting suggested the Trump administration should have begun policy negotiations on gun control, following the tragedy. Our researchers compiled a list of shootings in relation to changes to legislation at the national level.
The following is a list of U.S. shootings by one or more people that involved four or more victims, as well as federal gun control legislation signed into law over the past 30 years. The shooters’ deaths were not included in the death tolls.
Oct. 1: Stephen Paddock killed at least 59 people and wounded at least 527 others at a Las Vegas, Nev., concert.
Sept. 10: Spencer Hight killed eight people, including his wife, and wounded one other at a private party in Plano, Texas.
June 12: Omar Mateen killed 49 people at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub.
Dec. 12: Syed Farook and his wife Tafsheen Malik shot and killed 14 people and wounded 21 more at a social services center in San Bernardino, Calif.
Nov. 29: Robert Lewis Dear killed three people and wounded nine others at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Oct. 1: Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer killed nine people and wounded at least seven others at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore.
July 16: Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez killed four people and wounded three others at two military recruitment centers in Chattanooga, Tenn.
June 18: Dylann Roof killed nine people at a church in Charleston, S.C.
May 23: Elliot Rodger killed six people and wounded 14 others in Isla Vista, Calif., using a knife, a gun and his car.
Apr. 2: Ivan Lopez killed three people and wounded at least 16 others at Fort Hood, Texas.
Sept. 16: Aaron Alexis killed 12 people and wounded three others at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.
Dec. 14: Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Investigators also say he killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in their Connecticut home.
Oct. 21: Radcliffe Haughton killed three people and wounded four others at the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield, Wis.
Sept. 28: Andrew Engeldinger killed six people and wounded two at the office of Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, Minn.
Aug. 5: Wade Michael Page killed six people and wounded three others at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in a Milwaukee suburb.
July 20: James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded at least 58 others at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
Apr. 2: One L. Goh killed seven people and wounded three others at a vocational school in Oakland, Calif.
Oct. 12: Scott Dekraai killed eight people and wounded one person at a hair salon in Seal Beach, Calif.
Jan. 8: Jared Lee Loughner killed six people and wounded 13 others in Tucson, Ariz., in an attempt to kill local Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at a public event she was holding. Rep. Giffords survived the shooting.
Aug. 3: Omar Thornton killed eight people and wounded two others at the Hartford Distributors warehouse, his former place of employment, in Manchester, Conn.
Jan. 19: Christopher Speight killed eight people in Appomattox County, Va. The victims were family members and family friends, according to police.
Nov. 5: Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 32 others at Fort Hood, Texas.
Apr. 3: Jiverly Wong killed 13 people at a community center in Binghamton, N.Y.
Mar. 10: Michael McLendon killed 10 people within an hour in the Alabama towns of Kinston, Samson and Geneva.
Mar. 29: Robert Stewart killed seven residents and a nurse at a nursing home in Carthage, N.C.
Gun control legislation — Jan. 8: The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 amended the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 to add incentives for states to provide information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS).
Dec. 5: Robert Hawkins killed eight people at a mall in Omaha, Neb.
Apr. 16: Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, VA.
Gun control legislation — Oct. 26: The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act prohibited people from filing a civil suit against a manufacturer or seller of a “firearm, ammunition, or a component of a firearm, though some exclusions apply”; and prohibited sales and gun transfers to people without gun licenses “unless the transferee is provided with a secure gun storage or safety devices”; some exceptions apply.
Mar. 21: Jeff Weise killed nine people and wounded seven others at his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota. Weise had also shot and killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s companion prior to the school shooting.
July 19: Mark Barton shot and killed nine people at two Atlanta office buildings, after killing his wife and two children with a hammer in their Georgia home.
Apr. 20: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 12 classmates and a teacher, and wounded 24 others at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.
Gun control legislation — Nov. 13: S.191, “A bill to throttle criminal use of guns,” increases mandatory minimum prison sentences for people who use guns during certain crimes, such as drug offenses.
Gun control legislation — Sept. 13: The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994authorized the use of the death penalty for certain gun-related crimes; it prohibited the possession of a gun or ammunition by a minor, though there are some exceptions; it allowed for enhanced penalties for crimes involving guns; it revised the definition for “armor piercing ammunition”; and it prohibited the manufacture and sale of “semiautomatic assault weapons” (this prohibition ended in 2004).
Gun control legislation — Nov. 30: The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act established rules for buying guns, such as background checks and five-day waiting periods.
July 1: Gian Luigi Ferri killed eight people, wounded six others at a law office in San Francisco, Calif.
Oct. 16: George Hennard killed 22 people and wounded 23 others at a Luby’s Café in Killeen, Texas.
Aug. 10: Johnathan Doody and Alessandro Garcia killed six Buddhist monks and three others at a temple near Phoenix, Ariz.
Gun control legislation — Nov. 29: The Crime Control Act of 1990 increased penalties for people who commit certain crimes using “short-barreled rifles or shotguns or destructive devices”; it prohibited the transfer of guns to residents across state lines; it amended the Federal criminal code to impose criminal penalties against citizens who possess or discharge a gun in a school zone.
June 18: James Pough killed eight people and wounded six others at the office of General Motors Acceptance Corporation in Jacksonville, Fla.
Sept. 14: Joseph Wesbecker killed seven people and wounded 13 others at a printing plant that he worked at in Louisville, Ky.
Gun control legislation — Nov. 10: Undetectable Firearms Act prohibited the manufacture, import, sale, shipment, delivery, possession or transfer of any firearm that may not be detectable by walk-through metal detectors.
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Written by Leah Mottishaw and Ivy Nevares
Edited by Ivy Nevares and Rosa Laura Junco
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Jens Erik Gould
Jens is a political, business and entertainment writer and editor who has reported from a dozen countries for media outlets including The New York Times, National Public Radio and Bloomberg News