Juristat Bulletin—Quick Fact
Firearm-related violent crime in Canada
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.
Data table for Chart 1
|Police-reported Crime in Canada, by type of crime, in % of total, 2016|
|Other Criminal Code violations||19|
|... of all violent crimes, 3% involved a firearm in 2016|
Data table for Chart 2
|Year||Violent crime||Firearm-related violent crime|
|rate per 100,000 population|
Data table for Chart 3
|Census metropolitan area||rate per 100,000 population|
Data table for Chart 4
Data table for Chart 5
|rate per 100,000 population|
Note: Populations are based upon July 1st estimates from Statistics Canada, Demography Division.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Homicide Survey.
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).
Data table for Chart 6
|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|
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).
Data table for Chart 7
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
- Are firearm-related violent crimes linked to organized crime?
- Ethnicity of both victims and persons accused of firearm-related violent crime is unknown.
- Indigenous identity of both victims and offenders in firearm-related violent crime is unknown, with the exception of homicides.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Uniform Crime Reporting Survey and Homicide Survey.