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Injury - Firearm Injury Deaths

Summary Indicator Report Data View Options

Firearm Injury Death by County of Residence, New Mexico, 2017-2021

The highest firearm injury death rates in both males and females were due to intentional self-harm, followed by assault.

Firearm Injury Death by Health Region, New Mexico, 2017-2021

Firearm Injury Death by Urban and Rural Counties, New Mexico, 2017-2021

Firearm Injury Death by U.S. States, 2021

Why Is This Important?

Firearm related violence is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. In the U.S., more than 45,200 persons died of a firearm injury in 2020, an average of 124 deaths per day. In 2020, firearm was the second leading cause injury death in New Mexico, second only to poisoning and drug overdose deaths. Firearm injuries contributed significantly to premature mortality in New Mexico ,accounting for a total of 15,428 years of potential life lost (YPPL) before the age of 75 years. Suicide due to firearm injuries was the most common cause of premature death by firearms in New Mexico (8,457 YPLL), followed by homicide (5,957 YPPL).


The firearm death rate is defined as the number of deaths attributed to firearm injury per 100,000 population. Firearm deaths were defined by underlying cause of death based on the International Classification of Diseases, version 10 (ICD-10) codes.

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC WONDER Online Database
  • New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program.

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:The total number of firearm deaths per year.
Denominator:The estimated mid-year population.

How Are We Doing?

Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, New Mexico had the 10th highest age-adjusted rate of firearm death in 2017, 18.5 per 100,000 population. In 2017, the age-adjusted firearm death rate was 18.4 per 100,000, accounting for 394 deaths among New Mexico residents. From 2013-2017, most firearm deaths were due to intentional self-harm (66.2%), followed by assault (25.6%) and legal intervention (4.6%). Only 1.5% of firearm injury deaths were unintentional. Firearm was the leading cause of violent death in New Mexico, accounting for 53.2% of intentional self-harm deaths (suicide) and 59.0% of assault deaths (homicide).

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Over the past 18 years, firearm death rates in New Mexico have been consistently higher than U.S. rates. In 2017, the New Mexico firearm death rate was 53% higher than the U.S. rate.

Evidence-based Practices

Firearm ownership rates across the United States and rates of firearms in the home associate positively with firearm mortality rates which also associate with states' firearm laws.^1-6^ Obtaining a license to purchase or possesses a gun is a requirement in 14 states.^7^ Ten of them require a permit-to-purchase (PTP), three require a license to own a firearm, and one state requires proof of successful completion of firearm safety training. Additionally, states' licensing practices often include safety training, and comprehensive background checks required of licensed dealers and unlicensed private sellers, both. States with strong firearm policies had lower firearm mortality rates than states with weaker firearm policies.^1-3^ Thirteen states have proposed and passed legislation for Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOS), as of September 2018.^8^ When a person is in crisis, many ERPOS allow family members, household members, and law enforcement officers to seek a court order to temporarily remove firearms from a dangerous situation and reduce the risk of violence. In many cases the warning signs that precede firearm violence are witnessed by spouses, children, relatives and friends to include emotional instability, physical violence, mental illness and verbal threats. After the laws passed in Connecticut and Indiana suicide rates decreased by 14% in Connecticut and 8% in Indiana.^9^ [[br]][[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont # Kaufman, EJ., Morrison, CN., Branas, CC., and Wiebe, DJ. ''State Firearm Laws and Interstate Firearm Deaths from Homicide and Suicide in the United States, a Cross Sectional Analysis of Data by County.'' JAMA Intern Med. 2018,178(5):692-700. # Fleegler, EW., Lee, LK., Monuteaux, MC., Hemenway, D., and Mannix, R. ''Firearm Legislation and Firearm-Related Fatalities in the United States.'' JAMA Intern Med. 2013,173(9):732-740. # Kalesan, B., Mobily, ME., Keiser, O., Fagan, JA., and Galea, S. ''Firearm Legislation and Firearm Mortality in the USA: A Cross-sectional, State Level Study.'' Lancet 2016;387:1847-1855. # Miller, M., Barber, C., White, RA., and Azrael, D. ''Firearms and Suicide in the United States: Is Risk Independent of Underlying Suicidal Behavior?'' Am J Epidemiol. 2013;178(6):946-955. # Siegel, M. and Rothman, EF. ''Firearm Ownership and Suicide Rates Among US Men and Women, 1981-2013.'' Am J Public Health. 2016;106:1316-1322. # Anglemyer, A., Horvath, T., and Rutherford, G. ''The Accessibility of Firearms and Risk for Suicide and Homicide Victimization Among Household Members.'' Ann Intern Med. 2014;160:101-110. # ''Gun Licensing Laws, 2018.'' Accessed online: # ''Extreme Risk Protection Orders, 2018.'' Accessed online: # Kivisto, A.J., and Phalen, P.L. ''Effects of Risk-Based Firearm Seizure Laws in Connecticut and Indiana on Suicide Rates, 1981-2015.'' Psychiatric Services. doi:10.1176/appi.ps201700250 }}

Other Objectives

New Mexico Community Health Status Indicator (CHSI)

More Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Violence Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), Violent Death Harvard Injury Control Research Center 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Indicator Data Last Updated On 10/10/2023, Published on 10/10/2023
Injury Epidemiology, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 1190 S. Saint Francis Drive, Room N1106, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM, 87502.