Everytown For Gun Safety Sues ATF Over Suicide Data

Let’s be honest. Right now, gun control advocates have us pro-Second Amendment types on the ropes. At least, it feels that way, and not just to me. A lot of us are feeling the pressure. And, let’s face it, the gun control groups probably know it as well.


That’s probably why Everytown for Gun Safety is filing a lawsuit to make the ATF hand over data on suicides.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday to obtain the data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The group claims that ATF improperly refused to hand over national and state data on the number of firearms used in suicides or attempted suicides in 2012 and 2013 that were recovered by law enforcement and traced by the ATF.

Everytown said that in denying its Freedom of Information Act request, the agency argued it is prohibited by Congress from disclosing Gun Control Act data to anyone other than a law enforcement agency or a prosecutor.

But the gun control advocacy group argued none of the data it requested is sensitive law enforcement information that could endanger ongoing investigations.

That may be true.

It’s also true that none of that data is salient to the discussion on gun control. You see, as we’ve pointed out to people like Everytown time and time again, people who can’t attempt suicide with a firearm will simply find another method.

Their constant harping on suicides, however, may be a positive sign for gun rights activists. After all, it’s a sign of desperation.

As noted previously, when looking at any negative impact of guns, it’s also important to balance that against the positive impact. The loss of life needs to be considered against the number of lives saved. It’s not enough to save one life. You have to save one life while not costing two more, and that’s been at the core of many counters to firearm statistics. Virtually every estimate of defensive gun uses is higher than those killed with guns–including when they add in suicide numbers.


Everytown is desperate, though. They need to paint guns as evil, and to do that they need massive numbers. They need big, scary numbers of deaths that can even loosely be attributed to guns because nothing else is going to work. They know that.

Now, they want the ATF to release numbers the agency is specifically barred from releasing. That’s why they’re going to go to court for it.

Even if they get it, though, it won’t do them much good. Most people see suicides as something different, something that gun control won’t stop or even mitigate. They see it as the act of someone who is determined to end their life, and if they can’t get a gun they’ll use something else. If someone wants to die, there’s plenty of other ways to do it.

That won’t stop Everytown and company from trying to pretend that it’s something else; like the gun somehow makes people commit suicide. It didn’t, and they know it.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member