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Pennsylvania saw a 38% increase in the rate of gun violence during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was higher than the national average. This observation is based on the recent peer-reviewed study that enabled Penn State researchers to assess the rates of gun violence before the pandemic and compare them with the rates during the first year of the pandemic.

Paddy Ssentongo, assistant research professor of engineering, is investigating the collision of two public health crises—COVID-19 and Gun Violence. The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with psychological distress caused by the shelter-in-place orders, increased rates of domestic violence, disruption of social networks, unemployment, and record increases in gun sales and access to guns during the pandemic. 

Read more about the research in this post.

For more on information on gun violence and other and other issues during the pandemic, visit the Insights from Experts website — a partnership of Penn State's Social Science Research Institute and the Center for Health Care and Policy Research.