Strict Firearm Laws Linked with Lower Firearm Suicide Rates, Study Finds

May 30, 2018

A new study has found that strong statewide firearm laws is associated with lower firearm suicide rates as well as a lower overall suicide rate in the state.

The study was published earlier this month in the online Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers analyzed data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

They found that strong firearm laws were associated with lower firearm suicide rates. Today, the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit that advocates for gun control, published their own analysis of the same data ranking states with the highest gun suicide rates. West Virginia ranks fifth.

In 2015, Business Insider used the results of a study published in the journal of Injury Prevention to rank each state by the percentage of residents who own guns. West Virginia ranks third.

The new JAMA article concluded that strong state firearm policies were associated with lower suicide rates regardless of other states laws and that strengthening state firearm policies may prevent suicides by firearm.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Marshall Health, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.