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Resource Document on Access to Firearms by People with Mental Disorders

Approved by the Joint Reference Committee, May 2014

  • 2014

Gun violence is a major public health problem in our country. Recent data indicate that 19,392 people used a gun to kill themselves in 2010, and 11,078 killed someone else with a firearm (1). In 2003, the homicide rate in the United States was seven times higher than the average of other high-income countries (2). Although concern is understandably heightened when mass tragedies occur, the daily occurrence of scores of murders and suicides due to the use of guns rarely gets the attention afforded mass tragedies.

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