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Fact File
Common Sense about Kids and Guns aims to educate the public about the risks of unsupervised child and teen access to guns. The facts and figures contained here reflect our non-political approach to the issue. All facts come from objective sources, and are chosen because they speak specifically to the issues of kids (0-19), gun accidents/suicide/injury, gun storage/ownership, and unsupervised access to guns. (Download Printer-Friendly Version of this page.)

View facts by category:

Deaths and Injuries | Ownership | Storage | Accessibility | Public Opinion

View National Mortality and Injury Statistics from the CDC:

Most Recent CDC Data | Enter your own query on the CDC database

View firearm deaths by state (1997-2002):

Deaths and Injuries
Every nine hours a child or teen was killed in a firearm-related accident or suicide in 2002.

Annual Totals (2002, 0-19 year-olds): Accidents=167, Suicides=828. (2002 is the most recent data available.)

On average, 4 children died every day in non-homicide firearm incidents from 1999-2002.

From 1997-2002, more than 1,324 children were killed in firearm accidents.

In 2004, there were 13,846 kids injured by a firearm -- and an additional 15,214 kids were injured from BB or pellet guns.

On average during each of the last 10 years (1993-2002), 1,213 kids committed suicide with a firearm each year; more than 135 each year were kids under 15-years-old.

The overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children aged less than 15 years was nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized countries combined.

40% of American households with children have guns.

Two in every five adults (39%) live in households where one or more guns are owned. One in every six live in households with a rifle and a shotgun and a pistol.

34% of children in the United States (representing more than 22 million children in 11 million homes) live in homes with at least one firearm. In 69 percent of homes with firearms and children, more than one firearm is present.

38% of households in the U.S. have at least one gun and 24% contain a handgun.

1.69 million kids 18 and under in the United States are living with loaded and unlocked household firearms.

In 30% of handgun-owning households, the handgun was stored unlocked and loaded at the time of the survey.

28% of gun-owning households with children do not always keep guns locked in a secure place.

Of gun-owning households with children, one quarter only "occasionally" lock and store the bullets in a separate place from the gun.

Among homes with children and firearms, 40% had at least one unlocked firearm and 13% kept their unlocked firearm loaded or stored with ammunition.

48% of gun-owning households with children do not regularly make sure that guns are equipped with child safety or other trigger locks.

Only 39% of homes with children and firearms keep their firearm locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition.

In 72% of unintentional deaths and injuries, suicide, and suicide attempts with a firearm of 0-19 year-olds, the firearm was stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend. (n=98)

Two-thirds of the 41 students involved in 37 school-shooting incidents from 1974-2000 got their guns from their own home or that of a relative.

Two-thirds of students in grades 6-12 say they could obtain a firearm in 24 hours.

36% of teenagers (12-19) say they could obtain a handgun if they wanted to.

47% of high school students (60% of boys) said they could obtain a gun if they wanted to, while 22% of middle school students (31% of boys) said they could get a firearm.

6% of high school students said they had carried a gun in the last 30 days.

Public Opinion
70% of Americans feel that more needs to be done to educate parents about how to keep their children safe from guns and on proper storage methods.

According to Newsweek, 64% of parents with children under 18 are somewhat or very concerned that their child could be harmed at a friend’s house where guns are kept.

Almost 80% of Americans think it is important to reduce children’s access to guns.

Please note: Though chosen for their relevance and objectivity, Common Sense and its endorsing organizations do not necessarily endorse all content stemming from the links provided in this page. All resources in these web pages are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Advice and opinions on mental health and other medical issues should be obtained through consultation with a licensed and trained professional.

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