Californians Who Live with Handgun Owners Are Twice as Likely to Die by Homicide
A new study from researchers at Stanford University has found that Californians who live with a handgun owner are more likely to die by homicide than people in households without a gun.
The 12-year long study found the people who lived in a household with a handgun owner were 2.33 times as likely to die by homicide than those in homes without any guns.
People living with handgun owners were also 2.83 times as likely to die by homicide with a firearm than people in gun-free homes.
The researchers followed a cohort of 17 million California adults from October 2004 to December 2016, following individuals for an average of 6.9 years.
Among homicides that happened in homes, people living with a handgun owner were seven times as likely to be killed by a spouse or intimate partner than people not living with a handgun owner.
The researchers also found that 84% of the victims were women.
Overall, the findings suggest that for every 100,000 California adults who didn’t own a handgun but began living with someone who did, 4.03 more were killed by a firearm in the first five years of cohabitating than they would have if their household remained gun-free.
The researchers say that while protecting oneself and loved ones in the home is often the reason people purchase handguns, the findings suggest people – particularly women – may be safer keeping their homes gun-free.