Juristat Bulletin—Quick Fact
Firearm-related violent crime in Canada

Release date: June 28, 2018 Correction date: July 24, 2018

Correction notice

The wording in the paragraph on firearms registration was modified to improve the clarity of the statements.

The crime rate in Canada has increased by 1% since 2013, while the violent crime rate has decreased by 4%. Violent crime makes up 20% of all Criminal Code offences in Canada.

Chart 1 Putting violent crime In context

Data table for Chart 1
Putting violent crime In context
Table summary
This table displays the results of Putting violent crime In context percent (appearing as column headers).
Percent
Police-reported Crime in Canada, by type of crime, in % of total, 2016
Property crime 61
Other Criminal Code violations 19
Violent crime 20
... of all violent crimes, 3% involved a firearm in 2016
No weapon 78
Other weapon 20
Firearm 3

Chart 2 Police-reported violent crime and firearm-related violent crime, 2009 to 2016

Data table for Chart 2
Police-reported violent crime and firearm-related violent crime, 2009 to 2016
Table summary
This table displays the results of Police-reported violent crime and firearm-related violent crime. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Violent crime and Firearm-related violent crime, calculated using rate per 100,000 population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Violent crime Firearm-related violent crime
rate per 100,000 population
2009 1,266 29
2010 1,251 23
2011 1,152 22
2012 1,096 22
2013 996 19
2014 938 21
2015 957 25
2016 945 25

Chart 3 Victims of police-reported violent crime with a firearm present, by census metropolitan area, 2016

Data table for Chart 3
Victims of police-reported violent crime with a firearm present, by census metropolitan area, 2016
Table summary
This table displays the results of Victims of police-reported violent crime with a firearm present. The information is grouped by Census metropolitan area (appearing as row headers), rate per 100,000 population (appearing as column headers).
Census metropolitan area rate per 100,000 population
Regina 59.4
Winnipeg 49.5
Moncton 41.3
Edmonton 38.3
Toronto 32.5
Hamilton 31.5
Saskatoon 30.8
Windsor 22.9
Calgary 22.0
Ottawa 21.3
Kelowna 20.3
Vancouver 19.8
Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo 19.5
Brantford 18.7
Abbotsford–Mission 16.6
London 15.9
Peterborough 15.4
St. Catharines–Niagara 15.2
Halifax 14.3
Barrie 13.4
Saint John 10.9
St. John's 9.6
Thunder Bay 9.1
Guelph 8.3
Victoria 6.5
Kingston 6.0
Greater Sudbury 5.4
Canada 25.5

Chart 4 Firearm-related crime, 2013 and 2016

Data table for Chart 4
Firearm-related crime, 2013 and 2016
Table summary
This table displays the results of Firearm-related crime 2013 and 2016, calculated using number and percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
2013 2016 2013 2016
number percent
Attempted murder 211 290 45.3 50.2
Homicide 109 195 26.0 38.4
Robbery 2,096 2,870 13.0 18.7

Chart 5 Homicides, by most common method, Canada, 1986 to 2016

Data table for Chart 5
Homicides, by most common method, Canada, 1986 to 2016
Table summary
This table displays the results of Homicides. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Shooting, Stabbing and Beating, calculated using rate per 100,000 population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Shooting Stabbing Beating
rate per 100,000 population
1986 0.67 0.63 0.48
1987 0.76 0.70 0.51
1988 0.63 0.63 0.52
1989 0.79 0.62 0.47
1990 0.70 0.77 0.47
1991 0.97 0.80 0.51
1992 0.87 0.74 0.53
1993 0.68 0.67 0.40
1994 0.68 0.53 0.37
1995 0.59 0.62 0.41
1996 0.72 0.66 0.44
1997 0.65 0.56 0.38
1998 0.50 0.62 0.41
1999 0.55 0.47 0.41
2000 0.60 0.49 0.42
2001 0.55 0.55 0.39
2002 0.48 0.58 0.40
2003 0.52 0.45 0.39
2004 0.54 0.64 0.43
2005 0.69 0.61 0.44
2006 0.59 0.64 0.37
2007 0.57 0.57 0.36
2008 0.60 0.61 0.37
2009 0.54 0.62 0.35
2010 0.51 0.49 0.34
2011 0.46 0.60 0.38
2012 0.49 0.47 0.33
2013 0.38 0.55 0.29
2014 0.44 0.53 0.28
2015 0.50 0.60 0.37
2016 0.61 0.48 0.32

Between 2013 and 2016, there was a 20% increase in homicides in Canada.

This was driven by a substantive increase (+68%) in gang-related homicides over that period. From 2013 to 2016, gang-related homicides occurring in CMAs almost doubled (from 65 to 121), driven by increases in Toronto (from 13 to 33), Edmonton (3 to 11), and Ottawa (0 to 7).

In 2013, about one in four (27%) homicides were committed with a firearm. By 2016, four in ten (38%) homicides involved a firearm.

At the CMA level, large increases were noted in Toronto (28 to 51), Edmonton (4 to 23) and Calgary (3 to 14).

Chart 6 Youth and adults accused of firearm-related violent crime, provinces and territories, 2016

Data table for Chart 6
Youth and adults accused of firearm-related violent crime, provinces and territories, 2016
Table summary
This table displays the results of Youth and adults accused of firearm-related violent crime. The information is grouped by Province or territory (appearing as row headers), Adult rate and Youth rate, calculated using rate per 100,000 youth or adult population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Province or territory Adult rate Youth rate
rate per 100,000 youth or adult population
Newfoundland and Labrador 12.1 29.2
Prince Edward Island 15.1 20.4
Nova Scotia 13.4 33.2
New Brunswick 20.5 27.7
Ontario 14.9 44.9
Manitoba 32.5 87.6
Saskatchewan 48.4 144.2
Alberta 24.9 45.1
British Columbia 13.7 18.0
Yukon 47.0 41.5
Northwest Territories 99.4 0.0
Nunavut 100.7 105.5
Canada 18.6 46.1

The rate of youth accused of a firearm-related violent crime was 20% higher in 2016 than it was in 2013, driven entirely by increases in the rates of youth accused in Ontario and Saskatchewan.

The rate of adults accused of firearm-related violent crime increased 37% from 2013 (14 per 100,000) to 2016 (19 per 100,000), largely as a result of increases in adults accused in Ontario (+578), Alberta (+230) and Saskatchewan (+183).

Chart 7 Proportion of selected offences involving a firearm, by victim-accused relationship, 2016

Data table for Chart 7
Proportion of selected offences involving a firearm, by victim-accused relationship, 2016
Table summary
This table displays the results of Proportion of selected offences involving a firearm Stranger and Non-stranger, calculated using proportion units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Stranger Non-stranger
proportion
Attempted murder 64 40
Homicide 25 24
Robbery 20 13

In 2015, 42% of firearms used in the commission of a homicide were recovered, while in 2016 just over one in three (34%) were recovered.

In 2015 and 2016, in about one-third (32%) of firearm-related homicides (where the firearm was recovered) police reported the firearm was “not applicable” to be registered. During this same period, police reported that the firearm was registered in one-quarter (21 out of 84) of firearm related homicides where registration status was applicable and known to police.Note

What we don’t know

Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Uniform Crime Reporting Survey and Homicide Survey.


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