In the United States, injury is a leading cause of alcohol-related death, and alcohol use is the leading risk factor for injury. We reviewed state and federal legislation regulating the intersection of alcohol and firearms.
We examined the current criminal codes of all 50 states and the District of Columbia using the databases Westlaw and LexisNexis to review restrictions on firearm use while intoxicated.
We found three types of laws in 26 states that restrict firearm use by intoxicated people: sales or transfers are restricted in six states, carrying of concealed weapons is restricted in four states, and possession or discharge of a firearm while intoxicated is restricted in 20 states.
Regulation of the carrying and use of firearms by acutely intoxicated individuals may represent a public health opportunity to reduce firearm-related injury.