Wall Street’s three biggest municipal-bond underwriters have seen business grind to a halt in Texas after the state blocked governments from working with banks that have curtailed gun-industry ties. In June, as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was on the hunt for a new campus in Dallas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott took a shot at ESG initiatives by banning state investments in businesses that cut ties with oil and gas companies.
That’s not to mention the brawls over Covid vaccines and mask mandates, deadly Texas blackouts along the country’s most isolated power grid and new state laws that restrict voting and all but ban abortion. It’s all happening just as Wall Street’s shareholders push the industry to fight climate change, racism and the gender gap.
So far, most big banks haven’t taken public positions on the new abortion restrictions. They’re being cautious about requiring Covid-19 vaccinations for employees in places where officials have assailed mandates. But the new Texas gun law is running into both the industry’s efforts to advance social causes and its ability to work with the second-largest state for muni-bond issuance.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. — which has 25,500 Texas employees, its most in any state outside New York — has said it can’t bid on most business with public entities in Texas because of ambiguities around the law. The biggest U.S. bank is assessing its potential next steps, said a person with knowledge of the company’s thinking.
Previously, the largest one-year increase in total number of murders was 1,938 in 1990. The F.B.I. data shows almost 5,000 more murders last year than in 2019, for a total of around 21,500 (still below the particularly violent era of the early 1990s).
The reasons for the rise may never be fully sorted out, but analysts have pointed to many possible contributing factors, including various pandemic stresses; increased distrust between the police and the public after the murder of George Floyd, including a pullback by the police in response to criticism; and increased firearm carrying.
About 77 percent of reported murders in 2020 were committed with a firearm, the highest share ever reported, up from 67 percent a decade ago.
The change in murder was widespread — a national phenomenon and not a regional one. Murder rose over 35 percent in cities with populations over 250,000 that reported full data.
Gun-related deaths from preventable, intentional, and undetermined causes totaled 39,707 in 2019, nearly flat from 39,740 deaths in 2018. Suicides account for 60% of deaths related to firearms, while 36% were homicides, and about 1% were preventable/accidental. Please note that the term gun is used on this page to refer to firearms that can be carried by a person, not to the larger class of weapon.
Since 2014, gun-related assault deaths have increased 31%, but the most recent data show that the upward trend may be over, with less than a 1% increase in 2017, a 4% decrease in 2018, and a partial rebound with a 3% increase in 2019. Suicide deaths involving guns decreased 2.0%, marking the first decrease after 12 consecutive yearly increases.
Though they tend to get less attention than gun-related murders, suicides have long accounted for the majority of U.S. gun deaths. In 2017, six-in-ten gun-related deaths in the U.S. were suicides (23,854), while 37% were murders (14,542), according to the CDC. The remainder were unintentional (486), involved law enforcement (553) or had undetermined circumstances (338).
New Jersey’s public-worker pension fund continues to own a small stake in a company that manufacturers firearms, several years after Gov. Phil Murphy and lawmakers first raised concerns about public investments in the gun industry.
As of earlier this month, the pension fund owned shares worth an estimated $28 million in a company that, among other products, specializes in making custom sporting shotguns and rifles, according to the latest information provided by the Department of Treasury.
However, the overall $85 billion worker-pension fund has cut ties in recent years with a manufacturer of firearms ammunition, which had been its only other direct link to the firearms industry, Treasury officials confirmed.
But when firearm mortality is viewed state by state, a strong variation emerges. Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Massachusetts had the lowest death rate of just 3.4 per 100,000 in 2019, the latest year data is available. Alaska and Mississippi are tied for the highest: 24 deaths per 100,000. The following map and table provide specific numbers for each state.
This year, many Americans have experienced significantly higher levels of violence both wrought on and within their communities. Gun violence and gun crime has, in particular, risen drastically, with over 19,000 people killed in shootings and firearm-related incidents in 2020. That’s the highest death toll in over 20 years, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), an online site that collects gun violence data, and the Britannia Group’s non-partisan site procon.org.
This total includes victims of homicides and unintentional deaths but does not include gun suicides. And despite there being no “large-scale” shootings in 2020, the number of mass shootings—which are classified as an incident in which four or more people are shot and injured or killed—has actually risen, drastically, to over 600, the most in the past 5 years and a nearly 50% increase in 2019’s total.