Article Content

Firearm legislation and reductions in mortality. A new analysis published online March 6 in JAMA Internal Medicine found that states with more firearm laws have lower rates of firearm fatalities, both overall and when suicides and homicides are considered separately. The researchers studied all violence-related firearm deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System from 2007 through 2010. They used the number of laws in five categories of state-level firearm legislation to calculate a score for each of the 50 states and then divided the states into quartiles based on the score. Annual scores ranged from 0 (Utah) to 24 (Massachusetts) out of 28 possible points. Over the four-year study period, there were 121,084 firearm fatalities. State-based fatality rates varied dramatically, from 2.9 (Hawaii) to 18 (Louisiana) per 100,000 people per year. Considered separately, firearm suicide and homicide rates were also significantly lower in states with the most laws.