SALT LAKE CITY — A new legislative report says 85 percent of firearms deaths in Utah are suicides and offers prevention strategies such as temporarily reducing access to firearms for those who are at risk of using a gun in their attempt, St. George News reports.
The report, presented Wednesday at the Health and Human Services interim committee meeting at the Utah state Legislature, was prepared by the Harvard School of Public Health using data from multiple Utah state agencies, including the Office of the Medical Examiner, Department of Human Services, Department of Health and Utah Department of Public Safety.
The study was the result of a directive from the 2016 Utah legislative session’s HB 440, Suicide Prevention and Gun Data Study. Co-sponsored by Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Salt Lake City, and Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, the legislation required the state suicide prevention coordinator to conduct a study on violent incidents that involve a gun and report to the Health and Human Services Interim Committee. The bill passed the House by a vote of 73-1 and the Senate by a vote of 19-6.