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Firearm Storage Patterns in US Homes With Children

NCJ Number
American Journal of Public Health Volume: 90 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2000 Pages: 588-594
Mark A. Schuster M.D.; Todd M. Franke Ph.D.; Amy M. Bastian MPH; Sinaroth Sor M.D.; Neal Halfon M.D.
Date Published
7 pages
This article reports on a study to determine the prevalence and storage patterns of firearms in US homes with children.
The study analyzed data from the 1994 National Health Interview Survey and Year 2000 objectives supplement. It used a multistage sample design to represent the civilian non-institutionalized US population. Respondents from 35 percent of homes with children younger than 18 years (representing more than 22 million children in more than 11 million homes) reported having at least one firearm. Among homes with children and firearms, 43 percent had at least one unlocked firearm (i.e., not in a locked place and not locked with a trigger lock or other locking mechanism). Overall, 9 percent kept firearms unlocked and loaded, and 4 percent kept them unlocked, unloaded and stored with ammunition; thus, a total of 13 percent 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 percent of these families kept firearms locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition. Tables, references