Firearm storage patterns in U.S. homes with children

GVPedia Study Database

Firearm storage patterns in U.S. homes with children

Category: Firearm Availability, Youth|Journal: American Journal of Public Health (full text)|Author: A Bastian, M Schuster, N Halfon, S Sor, T Franke|Year: 2000

OBJECTIVES:

This study determined the prevalence and storage patterns of firearms in US homes with children.

METHODS:

We analyzed data from the 1994 National Health Interview Survey and Year 2000 objectives supplement. A multistage sample design was used to represent the civilian noninstitutionalized US population.

RESULTS:

Respondents from 35% of the homes with children younger than 18 years (representing more than 22 million children in more than 11 million homes) reported having at least 1 firearm. Among homes with children and firearms, 43% had at least 1 unlocked firearm (i.e., not in a locked place and not locked with a trigger lock or other locking mechanism). Overall, 9% kept firearms unlocked and loaded, and 4% kept them unlocked, unloaded, and stored with ammunition; thus, a total of 13% of the homes with children and firearms–1.4 million homes with 2.6 million children–stored firearms in a manner most accessible to children. In contrast, 39% of these families kept firearms locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition.

CONCLUSIONS:

Many children live in homes with firearms that are stored in an accessible manner. Efforts to prevent children’s access to firearms are needed.

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