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image of guns tagged and displayed on a tableJune 19, 2018 -- Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. today announced that based on a five-year average, Westchester ranks the lowest in gun-related homicide deaths in New York State and is the third and sixth lowest in two other categories, according to data released today. Specifically, Westchester ranks:

  • First lowest death rate by gun-related homicide
  • Third lowest in overall gun-related deaths
  • Sixth lowest death rate of gun-related suicide

The data, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and analyzed by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, measures the rates of overall gun-related deaths and separately, rates of suicide, and rates of homicide in each of New York’s 62 counties between 2012 and 2016.

The analysis was released Monday by members of the New York ERPO Coalition — a broad group of district attorneys, law enforcement officials, gun violence prevention advocates, mental health organizations, health care organizations and legislators calling for the adoption of the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill to allow school officials, loved ones and law enforcement to take guns away from individuals in crisis who may use a weapon to hurt themselves and others.

Calling for passage of Extreme Risk Protection Order law
Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. said: “While Westchester County has one of the lowest gun violence rates in the state, one death is too many when that death is often at the hands of someone in crisis. We continue to urge the legislature to pass the Extreme Risk Protection Order law immediately before our lawmakers go home for the summer. Every day without this law is a potential day for someone to die at their own hands or someone else’s.”

By the numbers
Using the rate of deaths — rather than the raw number of New Yorkers killed by guns — accounts for New York’s uneven population distribution and provides a clearer picture of how gun violence impacts communities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, for example, 43 percent of New York State residents live in New York City in 2016, which is made up of just five of the state’s 62 counties.

The five counties with the lowest rates of gun-related death in New York during 2012-2016 were:

  1. New York County (Manhattan) — 141 deaths for a rate of 1.73 deaths per 100,000 residents
  2. Rockland County — 32 deaths for a rate of 1.98 deaths per 100,000 residents
  3. Westchester County — 119 deaths for a rate of 2.45 deaths per 100,000 residents
  4. Queens County — 286 deaths for a rate of 2.47 deaths per 100,000 residents
  5. Richmond County (Staten Island) — 65 deaths for a rate of 2.75 per 100,000 residents

The five counties with the lowest rates of gun homicide in New York during that time period were:

  1. Westchester County — 49 gun homicides for a rate of 1.01 per 100,000 residents
  2. Suffolk County — 84 gun homicides for a rate of 1.12 per 100,000 residents
  3. New York County (Manhattan) — 97 gun homicides for a rate of 1.19 per 100,000 residents
  4. Nassau County — 86 gun homicides for a rate of 1.27 per 100,000 residents
  5. Albany County — 21 gun homicides for a rate of 1.36 per 100,000 residents

The six counties with the lowest rates of gun-related suicide in New York during that period were:

  1. New York County (Manhattan) — 37 gun suicide deaths for a rate of 0.45 per 100,000 residents
  2. Bronx County — 45 gun suicide deaths for a rate of 0.63 per 100,000 residents
  3. Kings County (Brooklyn) — 92 gun suicide deaths for a rate of 0.71 per 100,000 residents
  4. Queens County — 90 gun suicide deaths for a rate of 0.78 per 100,000 residents
  5. Richmond County (Staten Island) — 27 gun suicide deaths for a rate of 1.14 per 100,000
  6. Westchester County – 67 gun suicide deaths per 1.38 per 100,000 residents

New York State’s overall gun-related death rate in 2016 was 4.4 deaths per 100,000 residents, while the national average was 11.8 deaths per 100,000 residents. In non-US high-income countries, the rate of gun-related death is 0.8 per 100,000 residents, according a study in the American Journal of Medicine.

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