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Chairman Beyer, JEC Highlight Economic Toll of Gun Violence

Washington, D.C. — This week, Chairman Don Beyer and the Joint Economic Committee released a report and held a hearing examining the economy-wide impact of gun violence.

From health care to education, business formation to housing, the economic effects of gun violence are widespread and long-lasting. According to new estimates from Everytown for Gun Safety, gun violence costs our economy more than half a trillion dollars every year.

To learn more about Everytown for Gun Safety, visit everytown.org.

“It is abundantly clear that the United States is facing a gun violence crisis that is unique in its deadliness and scale. While mass shootings capture international attention, the use of guns in homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings impose widespread and long-lasting costs. Loss or injury to gun violence is immeasurable, but the economy-wide harms are real and calculable,” said JEC Chairman Beyer.

Among the Committee’s key findings: 

  • Gun violence injuries cost victims and their families more than $1 billion each year in just initial hospital costs. 
  • Exposure to gun violence negatively effects educational attainment, leading to worse lifetime outcomes for children. 
  • Increased school security measures in response to gun violence cost more than $3 billion each year, straining school budgets. 
  • Gun violence harms local economies by slowing business development and decreasing housing prices. 

Chairman Beyer previously introduced the Assault Weapons Excise Act, reconciliation-ready legislation that would impose a 1000% excise tax on manufacturers, importers, or producers of assault weapons and high capacity magazines. He is also a co-sponsor of the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which would repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that grants gun manufacturers and sellers immunity from legal accountability for the harms caused by their products.

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The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee 

The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee is Congress’s bicameral economic think tank. It was created when Congress passed the Employment Act of 1946. Under this Act, Congress established two advisory panels: the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the JEC. Their primary tasks are to review economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy. Chairmanship of the JEC alternates between the Senate and House every Congress.