The choice of weapons in firearm suicides in Iowa

Am J Public Health. 1993 Nov;83(11):1630-2. doi: 10.2105/ajph.83.11.1630.


This study reports the types of firearms used in firearm suicides in Iowa and tests the hypothesis that the use of handguns, rifles, and shotguns in such suicides reflects the availability of these weapons. The percentage of firearm suicides involving handguns increased from 36.6% in 1980 through 1984 to 43.3% during 1990 and 1991. In both time periods, the use of handguns was more likely than would be expected from their household prevalence. Our data suggest that handguns are disproportionately represented among firearm suicides and that this overrepresentation has increased during the last decade.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Firearms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Iowa
  • Male
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*