FACT CHECK: Did The US Have Zero Mass Shootings While Donald Trump Was President?
A post shared on Facebook claims there were no mass shootings while former President Donald Trump was in office.
A number of mass shootings took place during Trump’s presidency, including the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting and the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting.
Two mass shootings have occurred in a single week, with one killing eight people in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16 and a shooting on March 22 that killed 10 people in Boulder, Colorado, according to The New York Times. After the two mass shootings, misinformation began to circulate on social media, including a March 23 Facebook post claiming there were zero mass shootings while Trump was in office.
“Is it odd all the mass shootings have been when the Democrats are in power?” the post reads. “We didn’t have one mass shooting when Trump was in office.” (RELATED: No, The Mass Shooting In Boulder Was Not A ‘False Flag’ Operation)
The definition of what a mass shooting can differ, and there is no universally accepted definition, according to an article published in the journal Injury Epidemiology. For instance, the Gun Violence Archive defines mass shootings as an incident with a “minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed, not including any shooter.” A 2015 Congressional Research Service report defined a mass shooting as a “multiple homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms, within one event, and in one or more locations in close proximity.”
Regardless of the definition used, the claim that no mass shootings took place between January 2017 and January 2021 is inaccurate – mass shootings took place during Trump’s presidency. For example, the Las Vegas mass shooting where a gunman killed 58 people and injured nearly 1,000 others took place in October 2017, according to NPR. Another mass shooting that left nine people dead took place in August 2019 in Dayton, Ohio.
The New York Times recently published a list of mass shootings from the last five years, based on a database from the Violence Project. Some of the shootings on the list that occurred under Trump’s presidency include, but are not limited to:
- The Aug. 3, 2019, El Paso, Texas mass shooting at a Walmart that left 23 people dead
- The May 31, 2019, Virginia Beach, Virginia mass shooting at an office building that left 12 people dead
- The Oct. 27, 2018 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania mass shooting at synagogue that left 11 people dead
- The Feb. 14, 2018, Parkland, Florida mass shooting at a high school that left 17 people dead
- The Nov. 5, 2017 Sutherland Springs, Texas mass shooting at church that left 26 people dead
We rate this claim false.