Gun-Related Suicide

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in America. Guns are a devastatingly effective means of ending one’s own life. Nearly 50% of all suicides in America involve a gun and suicides account for about 60% of all gun-related deaths. 58 Americans kill themselves with a gun every day. You can see this in our suicide and firearms report with local data through 2017.

  • According to the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), guns are not the most common way to attempt suicide, but they are the most fatal. Suicide by firearms has an 80-90% effective rate, compared to all other methods, such as drug overdose or hanging.
  • Suicide is often an impulsive decision. A gun in the home increases the risk of suicide. 
  • Approximately 90% of people who survive suicide attempts don’t go on to kill themselves.
  • According to a 2017 study of Maryland suicides published in AJPH, men account for about 80% of all suicides and nearly 90% of gun-related suicides.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death among Veterans; 20 Veterans die from suicide each day. 

For More Information:

  1. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, “Firearms & Suicide Prevention.”
  2. Kerry Shaw, “10 Essential Facts about Guns and Suicide,” The Trace, September 2016.
  3. VA Suicide Prevention Program, “Facts about Veteran Suicide,” July 2016.