Fox News: Preventing Gun Suicides May Require Changes in Gun Control Laws

November 17, 2016

Gun control regulations which make it difficult to quickly legally transfer firearms could hamper suicide prevention efforts, researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore found. 

From Fox News:

The research team looked at what happens when people want to temporarily remove firearms from their home because they fear someone in the house might be considering a suicide attempt. In some states, they found, gun control laws may actually hamper the ability to easily transfer a gun temporarily to reduce suicide risk.

What's needed, according to Jon S. Vernick of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore and colleagues, are laws that allow for temporary storage of guns by federally licensed firearm dealers, law enforcement officers, family members and friends.

The research was published this week in an issue of JAMA Internal Medicine focusing on firearm violence.

In a separate paper in the same issue, public health researchers from Boston argue that in order to reduce gun suicides, health care professionals need to work with, and not against, gun shop owners, firearm instructors and gun rights stakeholders. Rather than squaring off against one another, they say, these groups should "jointly devise strategies to put time and distance between a suicidal person and a firearm."

Another study, led by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital, found that certain types of gun control laws might reduce gun homicides, but:

[L]aws to reduce firearm trafficking, improve child safety and ban military-style assault weapons were not tied to reduced homicides, [the] team found. Attempts to regulate gun carrying produced mixed results.

Read more here.