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Dublin: 2°C Wednesday 20 January 2021

Handguns are now the choice of gangland criminals - so more people are dying

A new study published in the Irish Medical Journal has also found that handguns have lead to a substantial increase in the mortality rate from firearm injuries.

Image: bullets via shutterstock

GUN-RELATED CRIME HAS shown a steady increase over the past 40 years, placing a ”burden on hospital services not previously encountered”.

A new study, published in the Irish Medical Journal, looked at all gunshot submissions to Connolly Hospital Emergency Department during the 10-year period between 2001 to 2010.

It also highlighted that people are more likely to die if they were shot by handguns, which are high velocity handguns, rather than low velocity shotguns.

Over the 10 years, 65 patients with gunshot wounds were seen, compared to just 21 noted in a previous study during 1985.

The patients during the ’00s were aged between 15 and 52. Out of these, nine died while still in the emergency ward.

Only one of the 65 was female.

When asked about their profession, 44% of those in the study said they were unemployed. The Travelling Community made up 15% of those presenting with gunshot injuries.

There has also been a rise in the number of moralities seen from gunshot injuries. This is attributed to an increase in the use of handguns.

In a paper published in 2008, it was found that eight out of 17 injuries (47%) from handgun fire had resulted in mortality, while only one of 31 injuries (3%) from shotgun fire (low velocity) resulted in mortality.

Another trend that stood out in the study was the overall decrease in the average age of patients from 31 to 27.

It is thought that the increase in gun crime is down to gangland activity and the illegal drug trade. West Dublin, where the hospital is located, is one of the worst affected areas.

In Ireland, firearms are strictly licensed and controlled and traditionally this has limited the number of injuries occurring.

Read: Frances Fitzgerald and garda commissioner discuss shooting of six-year-old

Poll: Would you support a gun amnesty?

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