Advertisement

Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 127–134 | Cite as

An Update on the Impact of Gun Control Legislation on Suicide

  • Michael T. Lambert
  • Peter S. Silva
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Public Health Control Measure Recent Literature Suicide Rate Peak Period 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. 1.
    Vernick JS, Teret SP, Howard KA, Teret MD, Wintemute GJ: Public opinion polling on gun policy. Health Affairs 12:198–208, 1993.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Menninger WW: Guns and Violence: An American phenomenon. American Journal of Social Psychiatry 4:37–40, 1984.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Madden DJ, Lion JR, Penna MW: Assaults on psychiatrists by patients. American Journal of Psychiatry 133:422–425, 1976.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    McCulloch LE, McNeil DE, Binder RL, Hatcher C: Effects of a weapon screening procedure in a psychiatric emergency room. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 37:837–838, 1986.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kaplan MS, Adamek ME, Johnson S: Trends in firearm suicide among olderAmerican males: 1979–1988. The Gerontologist 34:59–65, 1994.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Murphy GE, Wetzel RD: Suicide risk by birth cohort in the United States, 1949–1974. Archives of General Psychiatry 37:519–523, 1980.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lester D, Leenaars A: Gun control and rates of firearms violence in Canada and the United States: A comment. Canadian Journal of Criminology 36:463–464, 1994.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    American Medical Association: Counsel on scientific affairs report A. Public Health Reports 104:111–120, 1989.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kleck G, Patterson EB: The impact of gun control and gun ownership levels on violence rates. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 9:249–285, 1993.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lester D: Gun control, gun ownership, and suicide prevention. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 18,176–180, 1988.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Loftin C, McDowall D, Wiersema B, Cottey TJ: Effects of restriction licensing of handguns on homicide and suicide in the District of Columbia. New England Journal of Medicine 325:1615–1620, 1991.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Boor M, Bair JH: Suicide rates, handgun control laws, and sociodemographic variables. Psychological Reports 66:923–930, 1990.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sloan JH, Rivara FP, Reay DT, Ferris JA, Path MRC, Kellermann AL: Firearm regulations and rates of suicide: A comparison of two metropolitan areas. New England Journal of Medicine 322:369–373, 1990.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rich CL, Young JG, Fowler RC, Wagner J, Black NA: Guns and suicide: Possible effects of some specific legislation. American Journal of Psychiatry 147:342–346, 1990.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Medoff MH, Magaddino JP: Suicides and firearm control laws. Evaluation Review 7:357–372, 1983.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lester D: Capital punishment, gun control, and personal violence (suicide and homicide). Psychological Reports 66:122, 1990.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lester D: An availability-acceptability theory of suicide. Activitas Nervosa Superior 29:164–166, 1987.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lester D, Leenaars A: Suicide rates in Canada before and after tightening firearm control laws. Psychological Reports 72:787–790, 1993.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lester D, Leenaars A: Gun control and rates of firearms violence in Canada and the United States: A comment. Canadian Journal of Criminology 36:463–464, 1994.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Carrington PJ, Moyer S: Gun control and suicide in Ontario. American Journal of Psychiatry 151:606–608, 1994.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Carrington PJ, Moyer S: Gun availability and suicide in Canada: Testing the displacement hypothesis. Studies on Crime and Crime Prevention 3:168–178, 1994.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Killias M: International correlations between gun ownership and rates of homicide and suicide. Canadian Medical Association Journal 148:1721–1725, 1993.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cantor CH, Slater PJ: The impact of firearm control legislation on suicide in Queensland: preliminary findings. Medical Journal of Australia 162:583–585, 1995.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lester D, Kazuhiko A: The availability of lethal methods for suicide and thesuicide rate: A study in Japan. Stress medicine 6:275–276, 1990.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Winokur G, Black DW: Suicide-what can be done? The New England Journalof Medicine 327:490–491, 1992.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lester D: Availability of guns and the likelihood of suicide. Sociology and-Social Research 71:121–122, 1987.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Clarke RV, Jones PR: Suicide and increased availability of handguns in theUnited States. Social Science and Medicine 28:805–809, 1989.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lester D, Clarke RV: Note on “suicide and increased availability of handguns the United States”: The influence of firearm ownership on accidental death. Social Science and Medicine 32:1311–1313, 1991.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Brent DA, Perper JA, Allman CJ, Moritz GM, Wartella ME, Zelenak JP: The presence and accessibility of firearms in the homes of adolescent suicides: A case-control study. Journal of the American Medical Association 266:2989–2995, 1991.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Kellermann AL, Rivara FP, Somes G, Reay DT, Francisco J, Banton JG, Prodzinski J, Fligner C, Hackman BB: Suicide in the home in relation to gun ownership. New England Journal of Medicine 327:467–472, 1992.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Murphy E, Lindsay J, Grundy E: Sixty years of suicide in England and Wales. Archives of General Psychiatry 43:969–977, 1986.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Lester D, Leenaars A: Effects of gun control on homicide in Canada. Psychological Reports 75:81–82, 1994.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael T. Lambert
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter S. Silva
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center atUSA
  2. 2.North Texas Veterans Health Care SystemUSA

Personalised recommendations