Under Fire: The Alcohol Service Industry

February 20, 2018

In the last six days, the words 'active shooter' and 'mass shooting' have plagued our minds and hearts. Our newsfeeds have been filled with constant reminders of the threats we face in this world every day. With the increased attention on safety and training in schools, I wanted to find an answer to a question that's been on my mind for awhile. How often do mass shootings occur in the alcohol service/hospitality industry?


There is no universally accepted definition of a public mass shooting. The FBI does not define mass shootings. The FBI defines "mass murders" as three or more individuals killed with no "cooling-off period" between. This is to not include the perpetrator if he or she should die. (source, PDF, pg 7) Therefore, I will use their "mass definition" to define a mass shooting. A mass shooting typically occurs in a single location where three or more people are killed/wounded. Many acts of mass shootings end with the perpetrator(s) dying by suicide or suicide by cop.



Research from the Gun Violence Archive's tracks the number of confirmed mass shootings in the US from 2014-2018. The archive presents us with dates of the attacks, locations, the number of individuals killed/wounded, and cites news sources to verify data. Based on their data, and our understanding of the definition of mass shootings, a total of 1,367 mass shooting incidents have occurred from 2014-2018. Of those 1,367 attacks, 219 occurred on the premises of a business that serves alcohol (nightclub, bar, events center, concert venue, etc.) Majority of this data comes from the massacres at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL (2016, 49 deceased and 53 wounded) and the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, NV (2017, 58 deceased and 851 wounded).


185 individuals deceased, 1,841 wounded. (2014-2018)


2014: 53 of 271 (19.5%) mass shootings occurred in the alcohol service/hospitality industry. 30 killed. 235 wounded.


2015: 48 of 333 (14.5%) mass shootings occurred in the alcohol service/hospitality industry. 21 killed. 201 wounded.


2016: 54 of 383 (14%) mass shootings occurred in the alcohol service/hospitality industry. 32