A common suicide method is to use a firearm. Generally, the bullet will be aimed at point-blank range, often at the head or, less commonly, into the mouth, under the chin, or pointed at the chest. Worldwide, firearm prevalence in suicides varies wid... ely, depending on the acceptance and availability of firearms in a culture. The use of firearms in suicides ranges from less than 10% in Australia to 50.5% in the U.S., where it is the most common method of suicide.
A failed suicide attempt by firearm may result in severe chronic pain for the patient as well as reduced cognitive abilities and motor function, subdural hematoma, foreign bodies in the head, pneumocephalus and cerebrospinal fluid leaks. For temporal bone directed bullets, temporal lobe abscess, meningitis, aphasia, hemianopsia, and hemiplegia are common late intracranial complications. As many as 50% of people who survive gunshots wounds directed at the temporal bone suffer facial nerve damage, usually due to a severed nerve.
Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the National Academy of Science found an association between household firearm ownership and gun suicide rates, though a study by one researcher did not find a statistically significant association between household firearms and gun suicide rates, except in the suicides of children aged 5–14. During the 1980s and early 1990s, there was a strong upward trend in adolescent suicides with a gun, as well as a sharp overall increase in suicides among those age 75 and over.
Two separate studies, in Canada and Australia, conducted in conjunction with more restrictive firearms legislation, demonstrated that while legislation showed a decrease in firearms suicide, other methods such as hanging increased. In Australia, the overall rate of suicide continued along an increasing trend, not decreasing until measures specifically aimed to provide support for those intent on suicide were implemented.
According to criminologist Gary Kleck, studies that try to link gun ownership to victimology often fail to account for the presence of guns owned by other people. Research by economists John Lott of the U.S. and John Whitley of Australia indicates that safe-storage laws do not appear to affect juvenile accidental gun deaths or suicides