Study: Guns in Home Raise Risk of Suicide, Murder

Those who have access to guns two to three times more likely to die from suicide or murder

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People who live in homes with firearms are two to three times more likely to die from either murder or suicide than those who don’t have access to guns at home, according to a new analysis of earlier studies. The report, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday, reviewed research published between 1988 and 2005.

In the U.S., which has the highest prevalence of gun ownership in the world, firearms are used in the majority of suicides and murders. The research found a “three-fold increase in the likelihood that people would kill themselves,” when they had access to a gun, Reuters reports. There was also a two-fold increase in the risk of being murdered among those with access to firearms.

Though Reuters reports that some researchers say there may be other factors involved in the relationship between gun ownership and suicide or murder risk, the report’s authors said the goal of the research was to outline the risk related to owning firearms.

“This is about understanding personal risk and considering those risks when an individual chooses to own a firearm,” said Andrew Anglemyer, the study’s lead author.