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State-Level Firearm Ownership Linked to Domestic Firearm Homicide

No correlation observed for firearm ownership with nondomestic firearm homicide

MONDAY, July 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — There is an association for state-level firearm ownership rates with domestic, but not nondomestic, firearm homicide, according to a study published online July 22 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Aaron J. Kivisto, Ph.D., from the University of Indianapolis, and colleagues examined the correlation between gun ownership and domestic versus nondomestic homicide rates by victim sex. Data from several sources were merged from each of the 50 states to model domestic and nondomestic firearm homicide as a function of state-level household firearm ownership.

The researchers observed a unique correlation for state-level firearm ownership with domestic (incidence rate ratio, 1.013; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.008 to 1.018) but not nondomestic (incidence rate ratio, 1.002; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.996 to 1.008) firearm homicide rates; the pattern was seen for male and female victims. Compared with states in the lowest quartile, those in the top quartile had a 64.6 percent higher incidence rate of domestic firearm homicide; there was no significant difference in the incidence rates of nondomestic firearm homicide for states in the top quartile versus the lowest quartile of firearm ownership.

“These findings support the need for state firearm legislation directed toward protecting victims of domestic violence, as access to firearms uniquely increases the likelihood of homicide among this population,” the authors write.

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