A toolkit for safe firearm storage in your community

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is on a mission to end suicide among those who have served, or are currently serving, in the armed forces. Suicide is complicated and tragic, but it’s also preventable  –  and safe firearm storage is an important part of suicide prevention. There is no single cause of suicide: […]

Firearm type and number: Examining differences among firearm owning suicide decedents

Objective The present study sought to determine if among a sample of firearm owning suicide decedents, the type and number of firearms owned was associated with dying by suicide using a firearm compared to another method. Method Data were collected as part of a larger online study that gathered information on suicide decedents and the […]

The cross-national association of gun ownership rates and suicide rates: An analysis of 194 nations

Objective To estimate the cross-national association between suicide rates and gun ownership rates Method The association is estimated using the largest sample of nations (n = 194) ever employed for this purpose. Three different measures of national gun ownership rates are related to total suicide rates, firearms suicide rates, and non-firearms suicide rates. Results Although gun ownership […]

The association between repealing the 48-hour mandatory waiting period on handgun purchases and suicide rates in Wisconsin

Objective To determine whether firearm-related suicide increased with the repeal of the 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases in 2015. Method We obtained data through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services via the Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health Query System. Suicide rates were compared by Comparative Mortality Figures (CMF). Results We reviewed all suicides in […]

Rates of preparatory suicidal behaviors across subgroups of protective firearm owners

Firearm availability is correlated with increased suicide mortality. Some firearm owners may be more vulnerable to suicide than others, but heterogeneity among firearm owners has received little empirical attention. The present study used latent class analysis (LCA) to identify subgroups of firearm owners who keep firearms primarily for protection (i.e., protective firearm owners) in a national […]

Increased suicide risk among older white males

Purpose of Review As one of the leading causes of death worldwide, suicide has become an important public health concern. Several studies have evaluated key demographic factors such as age, gender, and race as increased risk factors for suicide. The goal of this review is to highlight elderly white males as a unique population at […]

Assessment of latent subgroups with suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior among gun owners and non-gun owners in the US

Objective: To examine patterns of associations among suicidal thoughts and behaviors among gun owners and non–gun owners in the US. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this survey study, cross-sectional online survey data were collected from March to April 2020 from US adults recruited via Qualtrics Panels. Quota sampling was used to approximate US census demographics. […]

Veteran suicide: Missed opportunities for suicide prevention within concealed pistol license curriculum

Introduction Veteran suicide is a growing topic for public health concern. Despite enhancements from the Department of Veterans Health Administration, clinicians continue to struggle to identify and engage veterans at risk for suicide. Materials and Methods Examining suicide prevention efforts, epidemiology, risk factors, and barriers to care; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and […]

Suicide deaths among women in California living with handgun owners vs those living with other adults in handgun-free homes, 2004-2016

Importance  Little is known about the extent to which secondhand exposure to household firearms is associated with risk of suicide in adults who do not own guns, most of whom are women. Objective  To evaluate changes in risk of suicide among women living in gun-free households after one of their cohabitants became a handgun owner. Design, Setting, […]

Mental health treatment seeking and history of suicidal thoughts among suicide decedents by mechanism, 2003-2018

Importance  Understanding mental health and substance use treatment seeking and suicidality among suicide decedents is important to determine prevention efforts. Objective  To evaluate differences in treatment seeking and suicidality between suicide decedents who died by firearms and those who died by other methods. Design, Setting, and Participants  Cross-sectional data were collected on 234 652 suicide decedents from 2003 to […]

Firearms: The leading cause of years of potential life lost

Objectives Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that firearm deaths are increasing in the USA. The aims of this study were to determine the magnitude of potential years of life lost due to firearms and to examine the evolution of firearm deaths on the basis of sex, race, and geographical […]

Lethal means counseling, distribution of cable locks, and safe firearm storage practices among the Mississippi National Guard: A factorial randomized controlled trial, 2018-2020

Objectives. To examine whether lethal means counseling and provision of cable locks prompt safe firearm storage relative to control among firearm-owning members of the Mississippi National Guard. Methods. This randomized controlled trial utilized a 2 × 2 factorial design (lethal means counseling vs control, provision of cable locks vs no cable locks). Follow-up assessments took place at […]

Clinical strategies for reducing firearm suicide

Suicide is complex, with psychiatric, cultural, and socioeconomic roots. Though mental illnesses like depression contribute to risk for suicide, access to lethal means such as firearms is considered a key risk factor for suicide, and half of suicides in the USA are by firearm. When a person at risk of suicide has access to firearms, […]

The association of suicidal ideation with firearm purchasing during a firearm purchasing surge

Objective  To assess frequency of suicidal ideation among individuals who purchased firearms during the surge period (surge purchasers), other firearm owners, and non–firearm owners. Design, Setting, and Participants  Cross-sectional online survey data were collected from January to June 2021. Participants were recruited via quota sampling through Qualtrics Panels. Within Minnesota, zip codes from Minneapolis and St Paul […]

Role of firearm ownership on 2001-2016 trends in U.S. firearm suicide rates

Introduction: In the U.S., state-level household firearm ownership is strongly associated with firearm suicide mortality rates. Whether the recent increases in firearm suicide are explained by state-level household firearm ownership rates and trends remains unknown. Methods: Mortality data from the U.S. National Vital Statistics System and an estimate of state-level household firearm ownership rate were used to […]

Adapting safety check as a universal suicide prevention strategy in pediatric primary care

Objective: The presence of unlocked firearms in the home is associated with increased risk of suicide and unintentional injury in youth. We adapted an evidence-based program for promoting safe firearm storage, Safety Check, to enhance its acceptability as a universal suicide prevention strategy in pediatric primary care. Methods: We applied ADAPT-ITT, an established adaptation framework, to guide […]

‘It’s changed how we have these conversations’: Emergency department clinicians’ experiences implementing firearms and other lethal suicide methods counseling for caregivers of adolescents

Counseling parents to reduce access to firearms and other potentially lethal suicide methods is commonly known as lethal means counseling (LMC). The current study explores the experiences that emergency department-based behavioural health clinicians described having as they provided lethal means counseling to parents of adolescents at risk for suicide. Clinicians were purposively sampled from four […]

Adolescent suicide, household firearm ownership, and the effects of child access prevention laws

Objective This study has 3 objectives: to examine the association between state-level firearm ownership and suicide among adolescents of high school age; to compare the strength of the firearm ownership−suicide association among adolescents relative to adults; and to evaluate the relationship between 11 child access prevention (CAP) laws and suicide. Method Using an ecological time […]

Purchaser licensing, point-of-sale background check laws, and firearm homicide and suicide in 4 US States, 1985-2017

Objectives. To estimate and compare the effects of state background check policies on firearm-related mortality in 4 US states. Methods. Annual data from 1985 to 2017 were used to examine Maryland and Pennsylvania, which implemented point-of-sale comprehensive background check (CBC) laws for handgun purchasers; Connecticut, which adopted a handgun purchaser licensing law; and Missouri, which repealed a […]

Implementation and effectiveness of Connecticut’s risk-based gun removal law: Does it prevent suicides?

Developing practical, effective, and legally sustainable policies to separate firearms from people at risk of harming themselves or others represents a potentially important, but challenging public health opportunity for gun violence prevention in the United States. Risk-based, time-limited, preemptive gun removal is a type of legal tool that three states—Connecticut, Indiana, and California—have adopted, and […]

State handgun purchase age minimums in the US and adolescent suicide rates: Regression discontinuity and difference-in-differences analyses

Objective To evaluate the association between US state policies that establish age 18 or 21 years as the minimum purchaser age for the sale of handguns and adolescent suicide rate. Design Regression discontinuity and difference-in-differences analyses. Setting 46 US states without policy changes between 2001 and 2017; Missouri and South Carolina, which lowered the age for handgun sales […]

Possession of household firearms and firearm-related discussions with clinicians among veterans receiving VA mental health care

Objectives: To assess possession of household firearms among veterans receiving mental health care and the frequency of their discussions with clinicians about firearms. Methods: We surveyed random samples of veterans receiving mental health care in each of five purposively chosen, geographically diverse VA facilities; 677 (50% of recipients) responded. Results: 45.3% (95% CI 41.2, 49.3) of veteran respondents reported household […]

Effect of firearms legislation on suicide and homicide in Canada from 1981 to 2016

Canada implemented a series of laws regulating firearms including background and psychological screening, licensing, and training in the years 1991, 1994, and 2001. The effects of this legislation on suicide and homicide rates were examined over the years 1981 to 2016. Models were constructed using difference-in-difference analysis of firearms and non firearms death rates from […]