Firearm injuries; Spikes in handgun purchases in 2012 after Sandy Hook and the re-election of President Obama have been linked to a 4% increase in firearm injury in California, a UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) study has fInd. The UC Davis School of Medicine study, will be published August in Injury Epidemiology, assess the sharp rise in handgun purchasing across 499 California cities and estimated whether the additional handguns increased fatal and non fatal injuries in these communities.
Impact on firearm injuries
It is the first study to use a direct measure of handgun purchasing to link firearm purchases with subsequent firearm relate harm and to assess impact on firearm injury. “They estimate there were 36,142 more-than expect handgun acquisitions in California from the election through the 6-week period following the Sandy Hook school shooting,” said Hannah Laqueur; co author of the study and an assistant professor of emergency medicine at UC Davis.
“This represents an increase of more than 55% over expect volume during this 11-week period.”The researchers found that cities with greater increases in the rate of handgun purchasing were more likely to see an increase in the rate of firearm injury. “They estimate a 4% increase in injuries in the year following the two events over the entire state,” said Rose Kagawa, co-author of the study and an assistant professor of emergency medicine at UC Davis.
“This is an important increase in the total number of people injure; approximately 290 additional firearm injuries in the state.” Though the firearm purchasing spike statewide was substantial; it account for less than 10% of annual handgun acquisitions. It also is only a tiny fraction of the more than 30 million estimate privately own firearms in California, the authors said. “But even marginal increases in handgun prevalence may translate to more injuries,” Kagawa said.
Non fatal injuries
Firearm ownership is a known risk factor for firearm harm. The prevalence of firearm ownership has with higher firearm homicide and suicide rates. For the study, the research team assess firearms purchases in California cities; so with a population of 10,000 or more and use a forecasting model; so to predict expect handgun purchases after the 2012 election.
They estimate the spike in handgun purchases as the difference between actual handgun acquisitions; which as record in California’s Dealer Record of Sales; also expect acquisition base on the model. They track firearm fatalities using death records from; so the California Department of Public Health Vital Records and non fatal injuries using hospital; also emergency room visits gather by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.
The data were tallied at the zip code level and attribute to corresponding cities. “With the increasing rates of firearm purchases in the U.S. over the last decades; also 2017 marking a 20-year high in firearm relate deaths; so it is important to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between firearm acquisition; also harm to develop effective prevention strategies,” Laqueur said.