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Access to firearms in the USA: angry and impulsive behaviour in people with and without mental disorders
  1. E Naomi Smith
  1. Correspondence to The Maudsley Training Programme, London, UK; elizabeth.smith{at}

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ABSTRACT FROM: Swanson, JW, Sampson NA, Petukhova MV, et al. Guns, Impulsive Angry Behavior, and Mental Disorders: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Behavioral sciences & the law. 2015;33:199–212.


There is significant morbidity and mortality from gun-violence in the USA, with over 20 000 injuries and 9956 deaths resulting from firearms between the 1 January and the 1 October 2015.1 Individuals who have been involuntarily hospitalised are prohibited from possessing guns under US law. This exclusion fails to prevent those predisposed to angry and impulsive behaviour that have not been involuntarily hospitalised, from having access to firearms. This article argues that angry and impulsive behaviour carries an intrinsic risk of violence. Some offences, which may correlate with angry and impulsive behaviour, such as convictions …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.