Firearms - Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
The following statistics were are the latest available from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign:
Injury and death rates:
- The number of unintentional deaths from firearms declined 80 percent from 1997 to 2002.
- In 2005, 75 children ages 14 and under died from unintentional firearm-related injuries; more than half of those children were between the ages of 10 and 14.
- Non-powder gun-related injuries (for example, BB guns or pellet guns) sent nearly 7,000 children to hospital emergency rooms for treatment in 2005.
Where and when:
- Most unintentional firearm-related deaths among children occur in or around the home; 50 percent at the home of the victim, and 40 percent at the home of a friend or relative.
- The presence of a firearm in the home increases the risk of unintentional firearm-related death among children (especially if the firearm is loaded and kept unlocked).
- Most unintentional firearm-related child deaths involve guns that were loaded and accessible, and occur when children play with the gun.
- More than one-half of firearm owners keep their firearms loaded and ready for use some of the time.
- Most unintentional shootings among children occur in the late afternoon, on the weekend, during summer months, and during the holiday season, when children are most likely to be unsupervised.
- Rural areas have higher incidences of unintentional firearm-related injuries, as well as higher rates of firearm ownership.
- Approximately 3.3 million children in the US live in households with firearms that are, at times, kept loaded and unlocked.
- Boys are more likely to suffer unintentional firearm-injuries or die from an unintentional shooting than girls. Nearly 80 percent of children ages 14 and under who die from unintentional shootings are boys.
- As many as 75 percent to 80 percent of first and second graders know where their parents' gun is kept.
- Some 3-year-olds are strong enough to pull the trigger of many handguns.
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