Guns and suicide: possible effects of some specific legislation

Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Mar;147(3):342-6. doi: 10.1176/ajp.147.3.342.


The authors describe suicide rates in Toronto and Ontario and methods used for suicide in Toronto for 5 years before and after enactment of Canadian gun control legislation in 1978. They also present data from San Diego, Calif., where state laws attempt to limit access to guns by certain psychiatric patients. Both sets of data indicate that gun control legislation may have led to decreased use of guns by suicidal men, but the difference was apparently offset by an increase in suicide by leaping. In the case of men using guns for suicide, these data support a hypothesis of substitution of suicide method.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California
  • Female
  • Firearms*
  • Humans
  • Legislation as Topic*
  • Male
  • Ontario
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wounds, Gunshot / mortality