AJPHPolice homicides may be more likely in states with a greater proportion of gun owners, according to new research released last week by the American Journal of Public Health.

The study finds that a 10 percent increase in a state’s gun ownership rate could result in 10 additional police killings over the course of 15 years. Further, police response to domestic violence cases placed officers at the greatest risk in states where gun ownership was most prevalent.

“Research shows that responding to domestic violence calls are one of the most common situations in which officers are killed,” David Swedler, PhD, MPH, lead researcher, told NBC News.

The study shines light on the deadly impact of gun violence, which remains a leading cause of premature death in the United States. According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, every day 297 people are shot and 89 of them die from gun violence in instances of murder, assault, suicide, suicide attempts, unintentional shootings and police interventions.

This summer alone a number of communities faced the devastation of gun violence. In June, nine people were shot and killed in a Charleston, S.C., church and in July, 11 people were shot in a Lafayette, La., movie theater. The city of Baltimore saw a spike in homicides this May, many resulting from gun violence, and in Chicago more than 1,000 people were shot from January to early June.

While the impact of guns affects all populations nationwide, Swedler’s study reveals the risk to police officers, especially in states with high rates of gun ownership.

“Officers in the high-gun states had three times the likelihood of being killed compared with low-gun states,” the authors explain in the study.

While motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of on-the-job deaths for law enforcement officers, death from guns is second, the study shows.

Gun violence prevention will be a major topic of conversation when public health and gun safety experts convene at the Brady and APHA National Summit from Oct. 26-28 in Washington, D.C.

Visit APHA online for more about the role that public health can play in addressing gun violence. Visit First Look on AJPH online to get an early peek into research from upcoming issues.