Objective: The authors review recent literature examining the impact of gun control legislation on suicide rates. Method: MEDLINE and PsychLIT searches on gun ownership, gun control, and psychiatric firearm-related topics from 1982 through March 1997 were examined for reports focusing on gun control legislation and suicide. Results: Suicide rates typically decreased following implementation of a variety of firearm control laws. Suicide-prone individuals seldom substitute other means or go outside legal channels for suicide weapons. Firearm restrictions may decrease the ready accessibility of firearms enough to allow the peak period of suicidality to pass. Conclusion: The findings support gun control measures as a strategy for reducing suicide rates.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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