Thirty-three of 41 mass killings involved firearms, a database shows. The incidents killed a total of 211 people.
This year witnessed the highest number of mass killings in the United States in recent history, according to a database compiled by Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University
The lives of 211 people were lost in 41 mass killings, defined as when four or more people are killed, excluding the perpetrator. Of those, 33 involved firearms.
The findings reveal that there were more mass killings in 2019 than any year going back to at least the 1970s. The second-most mass slayings in a year was 38 in 2006.
But the 211 people killed this year is less than the 224 victims in 2017, when the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history took place in Las Vegas, where 58 people were killed.
Eight of the mass killings did not involve firearms. Other weapons included knives, axes and fires. The majority of the killings involved family disputes, drug or gang violence or people angry at co-workers or relatives.
The mass shootings in Virginia Beach, Dayton, the cities of Odessa and El Paso in Texas and Jersey City gave fresh impetus to calls, especially among Democrats, to restrict access to firearms.
California, with some of the strictest gun laws in the country, had eight mass slayings. But nearly half of states experienced a mass killing, from incidents in big cities to small towns.
The database does not provide a complete count of victims who were wounded.
The surge in mass killings comes despite the overall homicide rate dropping in the United States.