Gun assaults are aggravated assaults committed with a firearm. The monthly gun assault rate in the 15 cities with available data exhibits a clear upward cyclical trend over time, with no structural break in the series. (Recall that the structural break equation includes the linear trend in the data.) Gun assaults peaked in July of 2020, then declined through the end of the year.
In January and February, the average city gun assault rate increased by 12.7% over the same period in 2019. From March through May, the rate was -0.8% lower. For the summer months of June through August, the gun assault rate was 12.9% higher. For September through December, the rate was 9.5% higher.
From the declaration of emergencies in March through the end of the year, the average city gun assault rate increased by 7.4% over the same period in 2019. Across the entire year of 2020, the rate was 7.9% higher in 2020 than the year before, representing an additional 3,557 gun assaults across the 15-city sample.
— Council on Criminal Justice/Arnold Ventures, Pandemic, Social Unrest, and Crime in U.S. Cities