By Grace Wade

TINLEY PARK, IL - DECEMBER 17: A customer shops for a pistol at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store on December 17, 2012 in Tinley Park, Illinois. Americans purchased a record number of guns in 2012 and gun makers have reported a record high in demand. Firearm sales have surged recently as speculation of stricter gun laws and a re-instatement of the assault weapons ban following the mass school shooting in Connecticut . (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The US produced over 11 million guns in 2020.

Scott Olson is a photographer.

The rate of suicide using a firearm has declined in the past three decades but is still high in wealthier nations. In the US, rates are lower than they were in 1990, but they have risen since.

The global rate of firearm suicide decreased by 2 per cent a year on average over the last two decades, according to an analysis by the University of Belgrade in Serbia.

Paul Nestadt says that it's in line with a global trend of decreasing suicide rates. Increased firearm restrictions around the world probably contributed to the drop in gun-related suicides.

Higher rates in wealthier countries

According to the World Health Organization, more than one million people die by suicide each year. In low and middle-income countries, more than three-quarters of suicides occur. The US, France, Canada, Switzerland, Finland and Norway have the highest rates for those with a firearm.

There were more than 50,000 firearm suicides in 2019.

There is a high rate of firearm suicides in Greenland. According to estimates from the Global Burden of Disease study, about nine people in Greenland died from this cause in 2019.

In the US, 23,365 people died from firearm suicide in 2019. China, Japan and Singapore have the lowest suicide rates.

What prevents firearm suicides?

Studies show that gun control laws are associated with lower suicide rates.

Australia passed legislation to restrict firearm access in 1996 and gun-related suicide rates fell by an average of 3 per cent a year. The rate dropped after the introduction of gun laws.

The introduction of gun controls in 1997 led to a decline in Austria. The US has shown that such measures reduce firearm suicide rates.

Increased access to guns has contributed to the rise in firearm suicide rates in the US.

According to a report from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the number of firearms produced by manufacturers has nearly tripled since 2000.

Access to guns increases the risk of death because suicide attempts are often impulsive. Men who owned handguns were eight times more likely to die from suicide than men who didn't. The likelihood of a woman being killed by a handgun increased to 35 times.

The majority of suicide attempts result in death. When a gun is used, the rate jumps to 90 per cent.

According to Ilic's study, childhood poverty, unemployment and alcohol consumption are also associated with firearm suicide.

The UK Samaritans have a hotline in other countries.

There is a journal reference in the journal.

You can get a round-up of all the health and fitness news every Saturday by signing up for the Health Check newsletter.

There are more on these topics.

  • public health
  • gun violence