Objective: To compare the risk of death and the risk of nonfatal injury during firearm-associated family and intimate assaults (FIAs) with the risks during non-firearm-associated FIAs.
Design: Records review of police incident reports of FIAs that occurred in 1984. Victim outcomes (death, nonfatal injury, no injury) and weapon involvement were examined for incidents involving only one perpetrator.
Setting: City of Atlanta, Ga, within Fulton County.
Participants: Stratified sample (n = 142) of victims of nonfatal FIAs, drawn from seven nonfatal crime categories, plus all fatal victims (n = 23) of FIAs.
Main outcome measures: Risk of death (vs nonfatal injury or no injury) during FIAs involving firearms, relative to other types of weapons; risk of nonfatal injury (vs all other outcomes, including death) during FIAs involving firearms, relative to other types of weapons.
Results: Firearm-associated FIAs were 3.0 times (95% confidence interval, 0.9 to 10.0) more likely to result in death than FIAs involving knives or other cutting instruments and 23.4 times (95% confidence interval, 7.0 to 78.6) more likely to result in death than FIAs involving other weapons or bodily force. Overall, firearm-associated FIAs were 12.0 times (95% confidence interval, 4.6 to 31.5) more likely to result in death than non-firearm-associated FIAs.
Conclusions: Strategies for limiting the number of deaths and injuries resulting from FIAs include reducing the access of potential FIA assailants to firearms, modifying firearm lethality through redesign, and establishing programs for primary prevention of violence among intimates.