New York Economic Review


The Effects of Gun Ownership Rates and Gun Control Laws on Suicide Rates

Mark Gius

vol. 42, Fall 2011, p. 35-46


The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of gun control laws and gun ownership rates on state-level suicide rates. Using the most recent data on suicide rates, gun control measures, and gun ownership rates, the results of the present study suggest that states that require handgun permits have lower gun-related suicide rates, and states that have higher gun ownership rates have higher gun-related suicide rates. Regarding non-gun suicides, results suggest that stricter gun control laws may result in higher non-firearm suicides, and higher rates of gun ownership result in lower non-gun suicide rates. These results suggest that stricter gun control laws may actually induce potential suicide victims to alter the method by which they commit suicide. Hence, the overall effects of firearm availability on suicides may be muted due to the fact that while reduced firearm availability reduces firearm suicides, it also increases non-firearm suicides.


suggested citation:

Mark Gius. "The Effects of Gun Ownership Rates and Gun Control Laws on Suicide Rates." New York Economic Review. vol. 42, Fall 2011, p. 35-46

BibTeX entry    download