According to Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates published Wednesday, the costs of treating gun-related injuries in the U.S. exceed $1 billion per year.

The nonpartisan GAO report also found that firearm-related violence causes about 30,000 hospitalization and 50,000 ER visits annually. Additionally, 15% of the survivors of gun violence have to be readmitted again after the first incident, which caused another $8,000 to $11,000 health care costs.

“While not receiving needed services may minimize costs initially, the consequences of unmet health needs for firearm injury survivors may ultimately result in greater costs,” the report states.

House and Senate Democrats had requested GAO compile a report last year to support the Biden administration’s effort to combat gun violence. The analysis started in April last year and continued until last month.

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The analysis has also found that more than half of hospital visits and costs resulting from firearm-related injuries came from African Americans. 

“We have to treat it as a public health crisis,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) said during the press conference. “That is the only way in which we can confront such a catastrophic situation unfolding on the streets of our country.”

In 2021 alone, more than 10,000 people in the U.S. have been killed from gun violence so far, according to a report by the Gun Violence Archive.

On Monday, President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland held a meeting with key officials to discuss ways to strengthen gun control laws.

Biden has strongly denounced the current gun-related measures, saying that the gun violence is “an epidemic” and “an international embarrassment.”

“While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, we know there are some things that work. And the first of those that work is stemming the flow of firearms,” Biden said on Monday.

Biden has also pushed Senate to promptly pass two gun control bills sent from the House of Representatives. 

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