We examined the association between unintentional nonhunting firearm deaths and changes in firearm legislation in Sweden. There were 43 fatalities during the study time frame 1983–2012, representing 46% of all unintentional firearm deaths during the same period. The victims were predominantly young males (mean age 25 years). Slightly more than half of the deaths were caused by another person and were inflicted at close range. The main cause of the incidents was human error. The majority of the involved firearms were legal; however, most victims killed with illegal firearms were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time. The death rate decreased significantly following the introduction of the hunter's examination in 1985. Education and training associated with the hunter's examination was at least partially responsible for the decline in fatalities after 1985. Future prevention should target the availability of illegal firearms.
- Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi