- Associated Press - Friday, August 4, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A new six-year study on guns in Alaska shows the state has one of the top rates of gun deaths and injuries in the U.S.

The study was published on Wednesday by the Alaska Section of Epidemiology, the Juneau Empire reported (https://bit.ly/2vzd2wL). It examined three statewide databases and found almost 1,500 people were injured or killed by firearms from the start of 2009 to the end of 2015.

Figures compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Alaska’s firearm death rate is the second-highest in the country behind Montana.

Deborah Hull-Jilly, the public health expert who coordinated the study, said the main reason for gun deaths in Alaska is suicide. But the study left unclear whether the presence of firearms contributes to Alaska’s suicides, or if other factors are causing the high rate.

Of the 1,000 firearm fatalities in Alaska during the six analyzed years, 750 were due to suicide and 152 were homicides, according to the report. The rest were due to accidents, police intervention or could not be determined from the data.

The ratio of Alaskans killed by far arms each year is 19.7 per a population of 100,000, according to the report. The figure in Montana is 19.85 per 100,000.


Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

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