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Firearm Injuries in Oklahoma

Link to Spanish version.

  • On average at least one person dies every day from a firearm injury in Oklahoma.
  • Approximately 450 Oklahomans die each year from firearm-related injuries:
    • 300 suicides,
    • 130 homicides,
    • 10 deaths due to an unintentional injury from a firearm,
    • 10 deaths due to legal intervention or undetermined intent.
  • 60% of all suicides and homicides are committed using a firearm.
  • Firearm injuries are the third leading cause of injury death in Oklahoma behind motor vehicle crashes and unintentional poisoning.
  • Firearms account for 1 out of every 6 injury deaths among Oklahomans.
  • White people are about 2 times more likely to commit suicide using a firearm than Native American or black people.
    • Nearly 30% of suicide victims express their intent to commit suicide before they attempt it.
  • Black people die 4 times more often due to a firearm-related homicide than Native Americans and 8 times more often than white people.
  • Young males 5-24 years of age are at highest risk of dying due to an unintentional injury from a firearm.
  • More than half of Oklahoma households own a functional firearm.
    • Studies indicate that having a firearm in the home increases the risk for firearm-related suicide and homicide in the home.
  • Handguns are used in the majority of firearm deaths.

Prevention

  • Firearms should be kept in a locked place and bullets locked up in a separate place from the firearms.
  • Use trigger locks, load indicators, and other safety devices.
  • All gun owners should take a firearm safety course.
  • Assure that children and unauthorized persons cannot gain access to guns.
  • If persons are depressed or have expressed their intent to commit suicide, remove firearms from the environment to restrict access to lethal means.

Internet Resources

Injury Prevention Service, OSDH, 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Revised March 2012

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