When the United States manufactures and imports more firearms, firearm homicide rates in Central American and Caribbean countries also increase, a study led by University of Michigan researchers found.

The link between increased availability of firearms and deadly violence in other parts of the world highlights the potential international repercussions of greater firearm availability from the U.S., say the researchers, who zeroed in on the impact of firearm production and imports.

“By analyzing trends not just in U.S. firearm manufacturing but also in U.S. firearm imports, we were able to see that firearm availability in the U.S. was significantly associated with firearm-related homicides in Central America and the Caribbean,” said Eugenio Weigend Vargas, postdoctoral research fellow at U-M’s Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention.

“These findings suggest that the illegal flow of U.S. firearms is an issue that could be affecting entire regions.”

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Additional media mentions:

Latin American Post

Medical Xpress