As a follow-up to our previous article on weapons used in crime, this article will cover the most common weapons used in crimes during 2022 based on the latest FBI Crime Report. This report was released on October 16th, 2023, and shows a wide range of crime statistics for 2022. This report is also a part of the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program which was established in 1929 to collect and publish reliable crime statistics for the United States.
So what are the 5 most common weapons used in crimes? Keep reading to find out!
The overwhelming majority of violent crimes involve some sort of weapon. In 2022 an estimated 1,238,000 violent crime offenses involved at least one weapon. This is a 0.2 percent decrease from 2021 which was 1,239,900. An estimated 90,000 violent crime offenses involved no weapons.
Sometimes law enforcement is put in a situation where a weapon may have been used in a crime but they can’t say for sure what the weapon was. In such a case the crime is recorded as being committed with an “unknown weapon”. The following statistics are based on all violent crimes where the weapon was known.
Here are the 5 most common weapons used in crimes during 2022:
As you can see firearms were the most commonly used weapons in violent crime offenses in 2022 with an estimated 488,900 offenses. This is a 0.6 percent increase compared to the 486,100 violent crime offenses involving firearms in 2021.
While the majority of violent crimes do involve a weapon, the choice of weapon varies based on the type of crime being committed. The chart below shows a percentage that reflects the number of times a particular weapon was used for either Murder, Rape, Assault, or Robbery:
When it comes to murder firearms made up the majority of all known weapons used with 80.3 percent of murders involving a firearm. Personal weapons were the most commonly used weapon in rape (revised definition) at 87.2 percent. In aggravated assault offenses, firearms were involved 39.6 percent of the time with personal weapons right behind it at 20.3 percent. We see a similar trend with robbery offenses where firearms were involved 46 percent of the time with personal weapons being a close second at 34.1 percent.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of overall weapon usage for 2022:
For more information about weapons used in crime please visit The FBI’s crime data collector.