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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightGun violence costs US...

Gun violence costs US $229 bn per year

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Gun violence costs US $229 bn per year
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Washington:  Gun violence costs the US $229 billion annually, amounting to 1.4 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), a report said.

The report, which used data from the Giffords Law Centre to Prevent Gun Violence and the Centres for Disease Control for a state-by-state analysis of gun violence costs, was commissioned by Congressional Democrats, Xinhua news agency reported.

Lost income represents the biggest cost to the nation's economy, the report said on Wednesday.

Other major expenses include employer costs, police and criminal justice responses and health care treatment.

Rural states, including Mississippi and Alabama, have the highest costs of gun violence measured as a share of their economies.

States with high rates of gun ownership such as Alaska and Arkansas have the largest rates of gun suicide. Alaska also has the highest overall gun death rate per capita of all 50 states.

The report also found that children and teens were also at a much higher risk of firearm-related injuries and deaths in the US, compared to other advanced countries.

"The US stands alone in this degree of gun violence," Representative Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, told a hearing on Wednesday. "The human costs are beyond our ability to comprehend, it is tragic, it is sickening and it is a crisis."

The report came as the White House is reportedly circulating a memo on Capitol Hill detailing a possible proposal to expand background checks for gun sales.

The memo proposes expanding background checks to all advertised commercial sales, including sales at gun shows.

If someone who attempts to buy a firearm fails a background check, it would be reported to law enforcement officials, according to the memo.

This year, several mass shootings claimed scores of lives in the US, bringing back public attention to the nation's gun violence epidemic.

The White House and Congressional Democrats, however, remain divided over what actions should be taken.

There have been 40,331 gun violence-related incidents in the US this year as of Wednesday, killing a total of 10,681 people, according to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive.

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