Washington, D.C., September 1, 2021 - Today, in recognition of the beginning of suicide prevention awareness month, Brady calls for renewed attention to the epidemic of gun suicide in the United States. Nationwide, nearly 23,000 people die from gun suicide each year, while an estimated 63 people die from gun suicide every day. Suicide by gun accounts for 60 percent of gun deaths in the United States, affecting every demographic and community in our country. Addressing gun suicide is an essential component to any comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence in the United States.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“At the outset of suicide prevention awareness month, it is essential that we call attention to gun suicide and emphasize that we can address this crisis. While psychiatric conditions are risk factors for suicide, there are many other factors that also contribute to suicide, including the means. Gun suicide is by far the most lethal method of suicide and accounts for 51 percent of all suicide fatalities. 90 percent of suicide attempts with a gun are fatal. Though access to a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide death by 300 percent, we know that hope and solutions exist. For those with firearms in the home, ensuring that firearms are stored safely provides time and space between an individual in crisis and access to these lethal weapons. For those in crisis, seek help and support. There is hope - 90 percent of individuals who attempt suicide and survive don't die by suicide at a later date, 70 percent of these individuals never attempting suicide again.”
About Gun Suicide in the United States:
Suicide by gun accounts for the majority of gun deaths in the United States as well as the majority of suicide fatalities. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 23,941 people died by gun suicide in 2019, the latest year for which the government has complete data. Estimates from private organizations such as the Gun Violence Archive estimate that 24,090 people died of gun suicide in 2020, while over 16,000 people are estimated to have died from gun suicide already this year.
About Safe Storage and Gun Suicide:
Storing firearms safely provides a vital time and physical barrier between an individual and this lethal method of sucide. Safe storage, meaning storing every gun locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition, can protect yourself and loved ones in your home from the deadliest method of suicide. In 75 percent of youth firearm suicides for which the gun storage method could be identified, the gun was stored loaded and unlocked.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the free and confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Textline by texting HOME to 741741.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.