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Gun Suicide


Gun Suicide

What is the problem?

Gun suicide claims the lives of nearly 25,000 people in America every year. We must address this public health crisis to reduce gun violence in this country.

Though gun violence conversations tend to focus on homicides, nearly six out of every 10 gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides. That’s an average of 68 deaths a day.1Everytown Research analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. WONDER Online Database, Underlying Cause of Death. A yearly average was developed using four years of the most recent available data: 2018 to 2021. These deaths can be prevented. Policies and practices that focus on disrupting access to firearms in times of crisis have been proven to reduce firearm suicides.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call or text 988, or visit to chat with a counselor from the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7, free, and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress anywhere in the US.

Why is it an issue?

A gun leaves no room for a second chance.

Most people who attempt suicide do not die—unless they use a gun. Across all suicide attempts without a gun, 4% result in death. But when a gun is involved, that figure skyrockets to 90%.1Andrew Conner, Deborah Azrael, and Matthew Miller, “Suicide Case-Fatality Rates in the United States, 2007 to 2014: A Nationwide Population-Based Study,” Annals of Internal Medicine 171, no. 2 (2019): 885–95, That second chance matters: the vast majority of people who survive a suicide attempt do not go on to die from a later attempt.2Robert Carroll, Chris Metcalfe, and David Gunnell, “Hospital Presenting Self-Harm and Risk of Fatal and Non-Fatal Repetition: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” PLOS ONE 9, no. 2 (February 28, 2014): e89944,; David Owens, Judith Horrocks, and Allan House, “Fatal and Non-Fatal Repetition Of Self-Harm: Systematic Review,” British Journal of Psychiatry 181, no. 3 (2002): 193-99, The research shows that the difference between living to see a better day or dying by suicide is often determined by the presence of a gun. Given the unique lethality of firearms as a means of suicide, addressing gun suicide is an essential element of any strategy to reduce gun violence in this country.

By the numbers

Survivor Story

Survivor Stories

I was just eight years old and, on that day, the world immediately became less safe to me

Almost fifty years ago, on what I thought was going to be a fun-filled, relaxing summer day, my father took his life by putting a gun to his head, leaving my mother to raise five children between five and 15 years of age. I was just eight years old and,… Continue