August 25th, 2016

NSSF Expands Suicide Prevention Programs

NSSF Suicide Prevention AFSP death depression firearms

With suicide accounting for nearly two-thirds of all firearm fatalities annually, the topic of suicide prevention deserves our attention. In recent years NSSF has worked with the Veterans Administration, the State of Utah, and mental health agencies to help educate gun owners and the public on how to keep firearms safely out of reach of those who, during a period of despair, decide to do themselves harm.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data:

1. Nearly half of all suicides were by firearm in 2014.
2. Suicide accounted for almost two-thirds of gun deaths in 2014.
3. 90 percent of suicide attempts with a firearm are fatal.

The NSSF has committed to broaden its efforts, in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Recently, NSSF and AFSP announced a partnership to embark on a first-of-its-kind national plan to build and implement public education resources for firearms retailers, shooting ranges, and the firearms-owning community about suicide prevention and firearms.

Experts say that suicide results from the culmination of several health and life factors, with the decision to act often being made in minutes. Keeping firearms securely stored puts space between the period of risk and the means to act, and sometimes that … can help save a life.

AFSP has commenced a four-state pilot program that will involve firearms retailers and shooting ranges. This pilot program employs AFSP/NSSF jointly-developed strategies and resources to inform firearm owners about warning signs, prevention resources and secure firearms storage options. The NSSF also supports AFSP’s Project 2025, an initiative to reduce the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025. You will be hearing more about AFSP and NSSF efforts in this area.

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January 5th, 2015

Good News — Far Fewer Fatal Gun Accidents Than Ever

More guns, fewer fatal accidents — that’s the “take-away” from a report recently published by the National Shorting Sports Foundation (NSSF). We’re pleased to see that efforts to increase firearms safety are working. Even though the ranks of gun-owners have grown dramatically, the rate of unintentional firearms fatalities (per 100,000 persons) has dropped to an all-time low.

There has been a huge decrease in accidental gun-related fatalities over the last century (measured as a percentage of the population). NSSF reports: “The 2012 Center for Disease Control and Prevention WISQARS accidental fatality data shows the lowest number of unintentional firearm-related fatalities per year ever reported (going back to 1903)”. As Dean Weingarten of Gun Watch explains: “The accidental fatal firearm rate has dropped by 94% since we started keeping statistics, even though the total number of firearms per capita has likely at least doubled. You need to look at the rates — accidental firearm fatalities per 100,000 population — to see the stunning reduction in the last century.”

Accidental Firearms deaths NSSF

Only 0.4% of unintentional fatalities now involve firearms. The biggest killer, to our surprise, is poisoning, which accounts for 28.4% of accidental deaths. Motor vehicles, not unexpectedly, rank second at 27.3% (see chart below). Even suffocation, at 4.9%, accounts for 12 times more unintentional deaths than firearms.

Accidental Firearms deaths NSSF

GET NSSF REPORT HERE: DOWNLOAD NSSF Firearms-related Industry Safety Report.

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July 26th, 2013

$10 Million Government Gun Study Proves the Obvious

A $10 million-dollar CDC report ordered by President Obama determined that victims of crime who were armed with a firearm suffered fewer injuries than crime victims who were un-armed.

Well, at least the CDC came up with the right answer, but we’re flabbergasted at the cost of this study. Dustin Ellermann, past Top Shot Champion, comments: “$10,000,000 to discover the obvious… [at least] maybe now the anti-gunners will stop yelling ‘If you have a gun it will most likely be used against you!'”

According to Texas Fish & Game Blog, the CDC Report, entitled Priorities For Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence, reveals that “studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”

Here are some comments on a related NewsMax.com story about the CDC report:

I am glad that an official Obama research project shows the same thing that Professor Gary Kleck found in his research about 20 years ago. Professor Kleck found that an honest citizen that had a gun saved himself from death more than 1 million times a year and often did not have to fire a shot. Usually when the crook saw that the citizen was armed that was the end of it.

Why does our government have to spend millions of dollars to do a study to find out what everyone else on earth in the history of man has already known?

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March 30th, 2010

Does Increase in Lawful Concealed Carry Explain Drop in Crime?

John Lott gun bookA decade ago, Prof. John Lott wrote More Guns, Less Crime, a ground-breaking book that used advanced statistical analysis to prove that gun ownership by law-abiding citizens can reduce violent crime rates. Lott was initially assailed by the mainstream media, who refused to believe Lott’s numbers.

Now, it appears that the national media is grudgingly accepting that the increase in concealed weapon permits in many states has been associated with reductions in violent crime and in particular a notable decline in murder rates. MSNBC.com, a website known generally for its liberal-leaning news reports, recently ran an article on citizen gun carry that reveals that crime has dropped significantly in “shall-issue” states where concealed weapons permits are available to law-abiding citizens. MSNBC.com states that it is too simplistic to credit gun-toting citizens for the reduction in crime (which may have had other causes), but the statistics are noteworthy. MSNBC.com reports: “From its beginnings in the 1980s, the ‘right-to-carry’ movement has succeeded in boosting the number of licensed concealed-gun carriers from fewer than 1 million to a record 6 million today, according to estimates from gun-rights groups that are supported by msnbc.com’s research.”

gun crime statistics

Disagreement Persists as to Causes for Reduced Crime Rates
While MSNBC.com explains that the connection between lawful gun ownership and crime rates is “hotly debated” and not completely understood, MSNBC.com does acknowledge that crime rates have fallen virtually everywhere that “right to carry” laws were adopted. MSBNC.com quotes John Pierce of Opencarry.org: “Firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens prevent 1 million robberies, murders and rapes every year.” On the other hand, MSNBC.com cites a Harvard professor, Dr. David Hemenway, who claims that the available research is inconclusive and that “when it comes to concealed-carry laws, neither side can make a legitimate claim about their effects on crime”.

It is worth reading the MSNBC.com article, which includes a video on firearms training for CCW-holders in Washington state.

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