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Mixed impact of firearms restrictions on fatal firearm injuries in males: a national observational study.

Gjertsen F, Leenaars A, Vollrath ME - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2013)

Bottom Line: During the past four decades, male accidental firearm death rates were reduced significantly by 90%.Despite the great reduction in male accidental firearm deaths, we were unable to demonstrate effects of the laws.The findings are inconclusive, as they may reflect no true impact or study limitations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychosomatics and Health Behavior, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, P.O. Box 4404 Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway. finn.gjertsen@fhi.no.

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Public health organizations have recommended restricted access and safe storage practices as means to reduce firearm injuries and deaths. We aimed to assess the effect of four firearm restrictions on firearm deaths in Norway 1969-2009.

Methods: All deaths due to firearm discharge were included (5,660 deaths, both sexes). The statistical analysis to assess impact of firearm legislations was restricted to males because of the sex disproportionality (94% were males).

Results: A total of 89% of firearm deaths (both sexes) were classified as suicide, 8% as homicide, and 3% as unintentional (accident). During the past four decades, male accidental firearm death rates were reduced significantly by 90%. Male firearms suicide rates increased from 1969 to 1991 by 166%, and decreased by 62% from 1991 to 2009. Despite the great reduction in male accidental firearm deaths, we were unable to demonstrate effects of the laws. In contrast, we found that a 1990 regulation, requiring a police permit before acquiring a shotgun, had a beneficial impact on suicide in the total sample and in those aged 15-34 years. Male firearm homicides decreased post-2003 regulation regarding storing home guard weapons in private homes.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that two laws could have contributed to reduce male firearm mortality. It is, however, a challenge to measure the role of four firearm restrictions. The findings are inconclusive, as they may reflect no true impact or study limitations.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Observed time trends in firearm homicide and non-firearm homicide among males in Norway 1969–2009 (per 1 million). Different pieces of firearms legislation were implemented in 1986, 1990, 2000, and 2003 (vertical lines).
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ijerph-11-00487-f003: Observed time trends in firearm homicide and non-firearm homicide among males in Norway 1969–2009 (per 1 million). Different pieces of firearms legislation were implemented in 1986, 1990, 2000, and 2003 (vertical lines).

Mentions: Poisson regression was also used to estimate the annual change (rate ratio) in unintentional and intentional firearm mortality rates and in non-firearm suicide and non-firearm homicide, with the mean population as the exposure variable and the year as a covariate (independent variable). Because firearm and non-firearm suicide and homicide death rates exhibited nonlinearity during the period 1969–2009 (Figure 1 and Figure 3), we ran separate regressions for each of these four categories. For example, for non-firearm suicide we ran one analysis from 1969 to 1990, another from 1990 to 1994, and a third from 1994 to 2009 (Table 4). We analyzed the data using the count-data function in the statistical software Stata/SE version 12.1 [32].


Mixed impact of firearms restrictions on fatal firearm injuries in males: a national observational study.

Gjertsen F, Leenaars A, Vollrath ME - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2013)

Observed time trends in firearm homicide and non-firearm homicide among males in Norway 1969–2009 (per 1 million). Different pieces of firearms legislation were implemented in 1986, 1990, 2000, and 2003 (vertical lines).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3924456&req=5

ijerph-11-00487-f003: Observed time trends in firearm homicide and non-firearm homicide among males in Norway 1969–2009 (per 1 million). Different pieces of firearms legislation were implemented in 1986, 1990, 2000, and 2003 (vertical lines).
Mentions: Poisson regression was also used to estimate the annual change (rate ratio) in unintentional and intentional firearm mortality rates and in non-firearm suicide and non-firearm homicide, with the mean population as the exposure variable and the year as a covariate (independent variable). Because firearm and non-firearm suicide and homicide death rates exhibited nonlinearity during the period 1969–2009 (Figure 1 and Figure 3), we ran separate regressions for each of these four categories. For example, for non-firearm suicide we ran one analysis from 1969 to 1990, another from 1990 to 1994, and a third from 1994 to 2009 (Table 4). We analyzed the data using the count-data function in the statistical software Stata/SE version 12.1 [32].

Bottom Line: During the past four decades, male accidental firearm death rates were reduced significantly by 90%.Despite the great reduction in male accidental firearm deaths, we were unable to demonstrate effects of the laws.The findings are inconclusive, as they may reflect no true impact or study limitations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychosomatics and Health Behavior, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, P.O. Box 4404 Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway. finn.gjertsen@fhi.no.

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Public health organizations have recommended restricted access and safe storage practices as means to reduce firearm injuries and deaths. We aimed to assess the effect of four firearm restrictions on firearm deaths in Norway 1969-2009.

Methods: All deaths due to firearm discharge were included (5,660 deaths, both sexes). The statistical analysis to assess impact of firearm legislations was restricted to males because of the sex disproportionality (94% were males).

Results: A total of 89% of firearm deaths (both sexes) were classified as suicide, 8% as homicide, and 3% as unintentional (accident). During the past four decades, male accidental firearm death rates were reduced significantly by 90%. Male firearms suicide rates increased from 1969 to 1991 by 166%, and decreased by 62% from 1991 to 2009. Despite the great reduction in male accidental firearm deaths, we were unable to demonstrate effects of the laws. In contrast, we found that a 1990 regulation, requiring a police permit before acquiring a shotgun, had a beneficial impact on suicide in the total sample and in those aged 15-34 years. Male firearm homicides decreased post-2003 regulation regarding storing home guard weapons in private homes.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that two laws could have contributed to reduce male firearm mortality. It is, however, a challenge to measure the role of four firearm restrictions. The findings are inconclusive, as they may reflect no true impact or study limitations.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus