In 2005, the most recent year for which data is available, 55 percent of the gun-related deaths in the United States were suicides. There was nothing special about 2005, as suicides have been the number-one gun death for 20 of the past 25 years.
In 2005, 40 percent of gun-related deaths were murders; three percent were accidents, and 2 percent were legal killings, including when police shot criminals and those of undetermined intent.
The Supreme Court ended the Washington D.C. handgun ban (SN reported) despite the fact that suicide and homicide rates dropped during the ban. Four public health groups supported the ban, saying suicide attempts without a gun are less successful.