Firearm Availability and Suicide

September 23, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark Research

The authors of a review of the research on firearm availability and firearm suicide concluded that “firearm restrictions, including permit to purchase (PTP), waiting periods, safe storage, background checks, and registration guidelines, are associated with both lower firearm suicide rates and overall suicide rates.” The authors also reported that reducing the availability of firearms can decrease the suicide rate in countries in which firearm suicides account for a large proportion of the suicide rate. They suggested a number of alternative strategies that should be evaluated, including restraining orders that restrict firearm access for people who may be a danger to themselves or others, safe storage regulations, gun safety education, and technologies that prevent unauthorized users from firing specific weapons.

Mann, J. J., & Michel, C. A. (2016). Prevention of firearm suicide in the United States: What works and what is possible. American Journal of Psychiatry. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.16010069