New FBI Data: Unprecedented Murder Rise, Knives Used 2x More Than Rifles


The FBI released its 2020 crime stats this week, showing a record-setting rise in murders, while twice as many people were killed with knives than with shotguns and rifles combined; plus, America’s most deadly cities.

FBI releases its 2020 crime statistics

On Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its uniform crime report (UCR) for the year 2020 – and the news is not good. The report showed the largest rise in murders since national record-keeping began in the 1960s, NPR reported.

While the murder rate remains below a historic peak reached during the 1990s, the number of murders in 2020 jumped by nearly 30% compared to the previous year, marking the largest single-year increase ever recorded in America.

In the overall tally, there were 21,570 homicides in the US in 2020 – 4,901 more than occurred in 2019.

Furthering the bad news, the rate of violent crime (murder, assault, robbery, and rape) rose by 5%. The only good news is that property crimes, which have long been declining, dropped a further 8% as compared to 2019.

The most deadly cities

In 2020, crime was bad everywhere. Contrary to what most would tend to assume, large metropolitan areas were not the driver of murder. Percentage-wise, crime was actually worse and smaller cities. According to the latest FBI data, cities with a population between 10,000 and 25,000 had a larger percentage of murders than did cities of 250,000 to 1 million.

Looking at the usual suspects, New York and Los Angeles combined accounted for 13.5% of all the murders nationally during the 1990s. In 2020, NY and LA only accounted for under 4% of homicides.

The Midwest saw a higher spike in murders than other regions of the country, particularly in Des Moines, Iowa and Milwaukee, Wisconsin with both reporting their highest homicide count on record, CBS reported.

In terms of large cities, Memphis, Tennessee had the highest rate, with Detroit, Michigan coming in second, St. Louis, Missouri third, followed by Little Rock, Arkansas, and South Bend, Indiana rounding out the top five, the Detroit News reported.

Knives accounted for twice the number of killings than rifles and shotguns combined

The latest FBI data showed that twice as many people were murdered with knives in 2020 than had been killed due to the use of rifles and shotguns combined, Breitbart reported.

“Knives or cutting instruments” accounted for 1732 deaths compared to 203 with shotguns and 454 with rifles, for a total of 657 combined deaths.

In 2018 in 2019, the difference in deaths due to cutting instruments compared to rifles and shotguns was four times higher.

Gun deaths set new record

The majority of murders in 2020 occurred by firearms, mostly handguns. The FBI stats set a new record in 2020, showing that nearly 77% of the murders had been committed with some type of gun. It marked the first year that gun deaths eclipsed 75%.

The rise in violence prompted the Justice Department to take action earlier this year. The DOJ established taskforces in California’s Bay Area, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. to focus on the trafficking of firearms, USA Today reported.