Objectives: We investigated whether stricter state-level firearm legislation was associated with lower hospital discharge rates for nonfatal firearm injuries.
Methods: We estimated discharge rates for hospitalized and emergency department-treated nonfatal firearm injuries in 18 states in 2010 and used negative binomial regression to determine whether strength of state firearm legislation was independently associated with total nonfatal firearm injury discharge rates.
Results: We identified 26 744 discharges for nonfatal firearm injuries. The overall age-adjusted discharge rate was 19.0 per 100 000 person-years (state range = 3.3-36.6), including 7.9 and 11.1 discharges per 100 000 for hospitalized and emergency department-treated injuries, respectively. In models adjusting for differences in state sociodemographic characteristics and economic conditions, states in the strictest tertile of legislative strength had lower discharge rates for total (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.44, 0.82), assault-related (IRR = 0.58; 95% CI = 0.34, 0.99), self-inflicted (IRR = 0.18; 95% CI = 0.14, 0.24), and unintentional (IRR = 0.53; 95% CI = 0.34, 0.84) nonfatal firearm injuries.
Conclusions: There is significant variation in state-level hospital discharge rates for nonfatal firearm injuries, and stricter state firearm legislation is associated with lower discharge rates for such injuries.