The presence of a firearm significantly increases the risk when an individual is considering suicide.
When people seeking to take their own life can access a gun, it significantly increases the likelihood of success. A firearm increases both the speed and lethality when someone attempts suicide, critical factors given that suicide is frequently an impulsive decision. Every step between impulse and action gives someone in crisis valuable time to get the help they need.
Data shows that most gun deaths in Oregon are gun suicides. From 2010 to 2014, 83% of firearm fatalities in Oregon were from suicide, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Click here to see fact sheet.
Oregon exceeds the national average in gun suicides, and gun suicides make up a majority of all suicide deaths in the state.
Social science research has shown consistently that reducing access to firearms is a critical step in helping save the lives of those considering suicide. By reducing the ability of people to cause harm to themselves, we make it easier for them to find help for the depression, addiction, mental illness, or other underlying factor that is bringing them to consider ending their own life.