Childhood Gun Accidents Are Preventable Tragedies
From car accidents to terrorist attacks to spiders and sharks, everyone has their own fears. Ask around, though, and it’s unlikely that anyone will say a young child is their greatest fear. But after looking at the statistics on children and guns, maybe you’ll want to reconsider.
- 7 million children in the United States live in a household where a firearm is kept
- Accidents are the most likely to occur in the child’s own home and usually involve a legally owned gun, often used for self-protection
- Most accidents happen in the Deep South states, like Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia
- In 2015, 265 children accidentally shot themselves or someone else with a firearm, resulting in 83 deaths
- Out of the 83 deaths in 2015, the child accidentally shot themselves 41 times, and shot other people 42 times
- Most accidental shootings involve children under the age of 5, with another spike occurring in children ages 15 through 17
While some children and young adults die as a result of homicide or suicide, most firearms deaths are accidental and preventable. Often, they occur when a child finds a gun lying around their own home. When a young child finds a gun, they might think it is a toy. For older children, an unattended gun might be a chance to show off to their friends.
In many incidents of accidental shootings, the guns have been left on counters or bedside tables, completely in reach of young hands. In others, the gun was stored in an accessible place, like an unlocked cabinet.
The statistics are scary, but preventing gun accidents is incredibly easy! If you own a gun and have kids in your home:
- Store firearms in a securely locked area; they should be unloaded and kept in the uncocked position
- Store ammunition in a separate, secure place
- Use trigger locks or other childproof devices
- Teach children that guns are not toys — educated your children, rather than forbidding them to touch the guns without explanation of why they are dangerous
- Teach kids not to handle a firearm, and to tell an adult if they or a friend find an unattended gun
Even when faced with the staggering statistics on children accidental guns, most people don’t want to accept that it could happen to them or their children. It’s a terrifying though, but that’s why gun accident prevention and education is so important.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.