FIGURE 3-1 Distribution of firearms ownership across geographic regions, 1993-1998 (N = 100).

SOURCES: Baumer et al. (2002); Rosenfeld et al. (2001).


The majority of firearm-related deaths are the result of murder and suicide, while the majority of nonfatal firearm-related injuries are the result of assaults and accidents. Firearm-related deaths constitute the majority of all homicides and suicides, but firearm-related injuries represent only a minority of nonfatal injuries.6

Table 3-3 shows overall and firearm-related deaths by intent based on National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) data. In 1999, there were 28,874 firearm-related reported deaths in the United States. Suicide and homicide accounted for the majority of these fatalities, representing 57 and 37 percent of total firearm-related deaths, respectively. Furthermore, firearm-


In this section we use data from the National Vital Statistics System, the National Crime Victimization Survey, the Uniform Crime Reports, and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

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