Researchers at the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program have found that, among
people who die within three years of purchasing handguns, more one-fifth of the deaths result from gunshot
The study, published in the March issue of Injury Prevention, was based on records for 213,466 Californians
ages 21 and older who died in 1998. Rates of hand- gun purchase among persons dying from violence were
compared to persons dying from natural causes.
Almost 22 percent of deaths in the handgun purchases group were gun-related. Gun suicide alone was the
leading cause of death among women who pur- chased handguns, accounting for 37.2 percent of all deaths,
and was the third leading cause of death among men who purchased hand- guns at 17.5 percent. By compari-
son, gun suicide made up just 0.2 percent of deaths among women, and 1.1 percent of deaths among men,
who did not purchase handguns.