Firearm related deaths in New Zealand 1978-87

N Z Med J. 1993 Nov 10;106(967):463-5.


Aims: To identify the role of firearms as a public health issue in New Zealand and to consider this information in the context of international research on potentially effective interventions for the prevention of firearm deaths.

Methods: National data on firearm related mortality for the period 1978 to 1987 were abstracted to identify all firearm deaths categorised as unintentional, suicide, homicide and of undetermined intent.

Results: Over this 10 year period, there were an average of 91 firearm deaths annually, accounting for 0.3% of all deaths. Suicides accounted for 75.5% of these deaths, unintentional deaths for 11.6% and homicides for 10.6%. No significant temporal changes were observed.

Conclusions: While deaths from firearms are not a major public health problem in New Zealand, there is still a need to identify strategies likely to lead to reductions in the current levels of firearm deaths. Appropriately targeted legislative and educational strategies may be effective in reducing such deaths.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Firearms / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Homicide / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Homicide / trends
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Suicide / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Suicide / trends
  • Wounds, Gunshot / mortality*