Gun deaths were dropping. Then, 2020

After three years of a decline, the number of homicides caused by firearms in 2020 hit its highest level in California in at least a decade. 

Statewide, 1,606 people were killed by guns in the first year of pandemic lockdowns, the most recent year for which data is available. 

It wasn’t just the number of people killed. A higher percentage of people were killed by firearms in 2020 than in any year since at least 2011. 

Of those, nearly half were killed by a handgun. The number is almost certainly higher, since 23% of all firearm homicides reported by police did not specify or could not determine the type of firearm used.