For Release: Wednesday, November 9, 2005
San Francisco Joins Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL, in Recognizing Link Between Handgun Availability and Increased Murder and Suicide Rates
Washington, DC–The Violence Policy Center (VPC) today hailed the passage of a ban on the sale and possession of handguns in San Francisco. The measure passed overwhelmingly–58 percent to 42 percent according to the Associated Press–in a referendum held yesterday. The measure bans the manufacture and sale of all firearms and ammunition as well as the private possession of handguns.
Josh Sugarmann, VPC executive director and author of the 2001 book Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns, states, San Francisco voters recognize the clear link between handgun availability and increased murder and suicide rates. Fewer handguns mean fewer deaths and increased public safety.
The San Francisco vote comes at the same time that the National Rifle Association is working to overturn Washington, DC’s gun laws, including its landmark ban on handgun sale and possession. A July 2005 VPC study, Safe at Home: How D.C.’s Gun Laws Save Children’s Lives, found that no District of Columbia youths 16 years of age or younger died as the result of firearm suicide during the years 2000 through 2002, the most recent years for which data from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s WISQARS database is available. In addition, during this period there were no suicides by any other means by District youth in this age group.