Gun deaths in US reach highest level in nearly 40 years

(CNN)  –  Gun deaths in America have reached a record high.

Nearly 40,000 people in the United States died by guns last year, marking the highest number of gun deaths in decades, according to a new analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WONDER database.

A similar analysis was first conducted by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, a non-profit gun policy advocacy group.

CNN replicated that analysis and found that 39,773 people died by guns in 2017, which is an increase of more than 10,000 deaths from the 28,874 in 1999.

The age-adjusted rate of firearm deaths per 100,000 people rose from 10.3 per 100,000 in 1999 to 12 per 100,000 in 2017.

CDC statisticians confirmed with CNN on Thursday that these numbers are correct and they show gun deaths have reached a record-high going back to at least 1979, which was the year firearm deaths started to be coded in mortality data.

CNN’s analysis also showed that 23,854 people died from suicide by guns in 2017, the highest number in 18 years.

That’s a difference of more than 7,000 deaths compared with 16,599 suicide deaths by guns in 1999.