Changes in suicide methods in Quebec between 1987 and 2000: the possible impact of bill C-17 requiring safe storage of firearms

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2008 Apr;38(2):195-208. doi: 10.1521/suli.2008.38.2.195.


This study presents the changes in the overall and firearm suicide rates for Québec (Canada) before and after Bill C-17, which was implemented to secure safe storage of firearms. It covers 20,009 suicide cases reported to the coroner's office. Interrupted time series analysis is used to compare suicide rates in the two periods. Firearm suicide rates have dropped among males and females, but the downward trends were not significant when compared to those prior to the law. Hanging suicide rates have risen considerably among men and women, but those upward trends did not increase significantly when compared with those preceding the law. The decline in suicide rates involving firearms has not resulted in a parallel decline in overall suicide rates. The analyses suggest that Bill C-17 neither improved the downward trend in firearm suicide, which had already begun before the enactment of the law, nor reduced the upward trend of the overall suicide rate. Correlation analyses between firearm suicide, hanging suicide, and the overall suicide rate suggest that firearm suicide is replaced by hanging suicide among males.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cause of Death
  • Coroners and Medical Examiners / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Firearms / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Firearms / statistics & numerical data
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Legislation as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Suicide / trends*
  • Wounds, Gunshot / epidemiology
  • Wounds, Gunshot / mortality