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Please call or text 988 to be connected to the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.


Access to guns is uniquely dangerous in the case of suicide, as guns are far more lethal than most other means of suicide, as fewer than 5% of people who attempt suicide with a firearm survive.(1) Many people who attempt suicide do not go through a deliberative process of making this decision, the majority of these attempts are made in moments of acute crisis. A study of survivors of suicide attempts found that less than one hour passed for nearly three-quarters of survivors between their decision and their actual attempt.(2) Ample research has found that limiting access to the most deadly means of suicide saves lives.(3)

Nine out of ten individuals who attempt suicide and survive will not go on to die by suicide, illustrating just how important it is that we limit access to these extremely lethal means for those in moments of crisis.​(4)


Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US.(5)

57% of firearm deaths in MA are due to suicide.(6)

Between 2010 and 2019 the firearm suicide rate in MA increased by 44%.(6)

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More Context
Suicide rates have been steadily rising in the US for the past 20 years.(7) The vast majority of gun deaths both in the United States and in Massachusetts are the result of suicide.(8, 9) In 2019, nearly 24,000 people died of firearm suicide.(10) There is some evidence to suggest that the suicide rate overall in the US declined slightly in 2020, but rates of suicide among BIPOC individuals may have risen. We are still waiting for the complete statistics to better understand these trends.(5)

The firearm suicide rate has increased among youth much more dramatically than any other age group, and BIPOC youth are at particularly high risk.(11) The presence of a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide for both youth and adults.(12)

A path forward to prevent firearm suicides

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A Path Forward

Tools like waiting periods, safe storage laws, and extreme risk protection orders that prevent access to guns in moments of crisis have the potential to save countless lives. Learn more about extreme risk protection orders. Safe storage laws are extremely effective at preventing youth suicide. Massachusetts is the only state that requires guns to be stored and locked while not in use, and only 9% of youth suicides in the state involve a gun, compared to 39% of youth suicides in the US.(13)


We must also address the link between trauma, mental health, and suicide. As a part of our legislative advocacy, we are advocating for a number of bills that address the intersection of trauma and gun violence. See our legislative priorities to learn more.

  1. Conner, A., Azrael, D., & Miller, M. (2019). Suicide Case-Fatality Rates in the United States, 2007 to 2014. Annals of Internal Medicine, 171(12), 885–895.

  2. Duration of Suicidal Crises. (2012). Retrieved 18 March 2021, from

  3. Means Reduction Saves Lives. (2019, February 26). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from

  4. Attempters' Long Term Survival. (2013, January 09). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from

  5.  FastStats - Suicide and Self-Inflicted Injury. (2021, March 01). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from

  6. The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. (n.d.). Massachusetts Gun Deaths 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2021, from

  7. Confronting the Inevitability Myth: Saving Lives from Gun Suicide. (2018, September 13). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from

  8.  Firearm Suicide in Massachusetts. (2018, February). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from

  9.  Facts and Figures. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2021, from

  10.  Rabin, R. C. (2021, April 15). U.S. Suicides Declined Over All in 2020 but May Have Risen Among People of Color. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from

  11.  The Rise of Firearm Suicide Among Young Americans. (2021, March 18). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from

  12.  Langbecker, R. (2019, January 17). Youth Suicides More Prevalent in States with Higher Gun Ownership. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from

  13. Bandlamudi, A. (2020, December 28). Youth Suicide Rates Are Higher In States With High Gun Ownership, According To A New Study. Guns & America.

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