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Am J Public Health. 2015 Aug;105(8):1703-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302617. Epub 2015 Jun 11.

State Firearm Legislation and Nonfatal Firearm Injuries.

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Joseph A. Simonetti, Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, Brianna Mills, and Frederick P. Rivara are with the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle. Joseph A. Simonetti and Bessie Young are with the Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Seattle, WA. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar and Brianna Mills are with the Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle. Bessie Young is with the Kidney Research Institute, University of Washington, Seattle. Frederick P. Rivara is with the Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle.



We investigated whether stricter state-level firearm legislation was associated with lower hospital discharge rates for nonfatal firearm injuries.


We estimated discharge rates for hospitalized and emergency department-treated nonfatal firearm injuries in 18 states in 2010 and used negative binomial regression to determine whether strength of state firearm legislation was independently associated with total nonfatal firearm injury discharge rates.


We identified 26 744 discharges for nonfatal firearm injuries. The overall age-adjusted discharge rate was 19.0 per 100 000 person-years (state range = 3.3-36.6), including 7.9 and 11.1 discharges per 100 000 for hospitalized and emergency department-treated injuries, respectively. In models adjusting for differences in state sociodemographic characteristics and economic conditions, states in the strictest tertile of legislative strength had lower discharge rates for total (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.44, 0.82), assault-related (IRR = 0.58; 95% CI = 0.34, 0.99), self-inflicted (IRR = 0.18; 95% CI = 0.14, 0.24), and unintentional (IRR = 0.53; 95% CI = 0.34, 0.84) nonfatal firearm injuries.


There is significant variation in state-level hospital discharge rates for nonfatal firearm injuries, and stricter state firearm legislation is associated with lower discharge rates for such injuries.

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