Florida Mass Shootings Saw Decrease in 2023 Despite Nationwide Increase According to Non-Profit Gun Violence Archive

Tampa, Florida saw 30 mass shootings in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), marking a slight decrease from the 31 mass shootings recorded in both 2021 and 2022. The United States as a whole experienced its second-highest total of mass shootings in 2023, with 656 incidents reported by GVA, an increase from 2022’s total of 647 but still below the record set in 2021 when there were 690 reported mass shootings.

While Florida’s overall numbers showed a decrease, the state experienced a violent start to 2023, with seven attacks in January alone. However, by the end of February, Florida accounted for nearly 12% of all mass shootings in the country, before a surge in other states, particularly Texas, which also has lenient gun laws, brought Florida’s overall average down to 4.57% of all mass shootings in the U.S. by year’s end.

Throughout the year, Florida saw a total of 134 people injured and 38 killed in mass shootings. The GVA reported an overall decrease in deaths and injuries from gun violence in 2023, with some cities experiencing reductions of 20% or more.

It’s worth noting that as of July 1, 2023, it became legal to carry a concealed weapon in Florida without a license for anyone legally allowed to possess a firearm, although concealed licenses are still available, requiring mandatory background checks and weapon training.

The GVA’s definition of a mass shooting is based on incidents where four or more people are shot, excluding the shooter, and does not differentiate between private and public mass shootings. The organization’s data collection relies on sources from over 7,500 law enforcement, government, and media outlets, with incidents that cannot be verified not included in their totals.

Ultimately, in 2023, 42,926 people died from gun violence in the United States, with 18,836 classified as homicide, murder, or defensive gun use, and 24,090 ruled as suicides. Of those deaths, gun violence claimed the lives of 297 children, with an additional 642 children injured, and 1,383 teenagers aged 12-17 also died, with 3,863 more injured. Additionally, 50 law enforcement officers were killed, with 368 injured, and 1,442 people were killed in officer-involved incidents, with 809 others injured.

In summary, Florida’s experience with mass shootings in 2023 reflects a broader trend in the United States, where gun violence continues to be a significant public health concern. Despite specific laws and regulations, mass shootings remain a persistent issue, requiring ongoing attention and concerted efforts to address effectively.