PO BOX 36, San Antonio, TX 78291
Gun Safety Statistics
To assist the media in writing about gun safety in conjunction with the MMother’s Day Million Mom
March, the peaceCENTER has compiled these statistics. More information can be found on the Million
Mom March web site, www.millionmommarch.com.
Slightly more than half of all
GUNS AT HOME privately owned firearms are
stored unlocked. Sixteen per-
Guns kept in the home for self- cent are stored unlocked and Between 1980 and 1994, the
protection are 43 times more loaded. overall suicide rate for persons
likely to kill someone you know National Institute of Justice, May, age 15-19 increased by 29
than to kill in self-defense. 1997 percent. Firearm-related suicides
Kellerman A., New England accounted for 96 percent of the
Journal of Medicine, 1986 One out of three handguns is increase in the overall suicide
kept loaded and unlocked in the rate.
Guns kept in homes are 22 times home. National Summary of Injury Mortal-
more likely to be involved in Police Foundation, 1996 ity Data, 1987-1994. Atlanta, GA:
unintentional shootings, crimi- Centers for Disease Control and
nal assaults, homicides and 90% of all unintentional shooting Prevention, Nation Center for Injury
suicide attempts than to be deaths of juveniles are done Prevention and Control, November
involved in injuring or killing in within a home - 50% in the 1996
self defense. victim’s own home and 40% in
Kellermann, et al. Injuries and the home of a relative or friend. The risk of suicide for 15-19 year
deaths due to firearms in the Center to Prevent Handgun olds is five times greater for
home. Journal of Trauma, 1998; 45 Violence, July, 1988 those living in a home with guns.
(2):263-267. Centers for Disease Control, cited
Nine out of ten parents reported in New England Journal of Medi-
In 60% of fatal accidents involv- they would not let their child cine, 1992
ing a firearm, the weapon was visit or play in a home if they
located near the home. knew it had a loaded gun that In one study in Oregon, 78.2%
-General Accounting Office Report was not locked away. of all suicide attempts with
on Accident Shootings, 1991. Johns Hopkins University, 1998 firearms were fatal but only 0.4%
of suicide attempts by drug
State Child Access Prevention According to a 1996 Louis Harris overdose were fatal.
(CAP) laws require gun owners Poll, more than half of the teens Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
living in households with minor (53%) who live in homes where Report, April 28, 1994
children to store and lock their there is a handgun or rifle
guns and keep them out of the believe that if they wanted to,
reach of children. Currently, they could get the weapon
only 15 states have CAP laws. without their parents’ knowl-
Gun Safety Statistics - Page 2 of 2
In 1996 handguns were used to
DEATH & INJURY murder 2 people in New Zealand,
35 % of children ages 6 to 12
fear that their lives will be cut
15 in Japan, 30 in Great Britain,
Between 1979 and 1997, short by gun violence.
106 in Canada, 213 in Germany
gunfire killed nearly 80,000 Harris Poll, 1993
and 9,390 in the United States.
children and teens in America — The notion that most gun vio-
Handgun Control, Inc., 1998.
25,000 more than the total lence is drug related is a myth:
Information aggregated from the
number of American soldiers the FBI reports that drug crimes
U.S. Department of Justice and
killed in battle in Vietnam. and gang killings each account
national police agencies.
Firearms wounded an additional for approximately 6% of gun-
320,000 children during this Nearly three times as many related homicides in 1995.
same period. children under 10 died from
Children’s Defense Fund, 2000 gunfire as the number of law
enforcement officers killed in the
In 1996, 13 children, age 19 and line of duty.
younger, were killed with guns Children’s Defense Fund, 2000 All of the guns in the possession
every day in this country [and of Kip Kinkel, who killed or
for every child killed, four are According to a 1993 Harris poll, injured 24 students in 1998, were
wounded]. 14% of all adults and 16% of all legal for a 15-year-old in Oregon
National Center for Health Statis- parents report knowing "a child to own. (A .22 caliber semiauto-
tics, 1996. who was found playing with a matic rifle, a Glock pistol and a
American children are twelve gun that was loaded." 12% of all .22 caliber handgun)
adults and 15% of all parents Peter Elikann, Superpredators: The
times more likely to die from gun
report knowing "a child who Demonization of our Children by
injuries than are youngsters in
accidentally shot himself or the Law (1999)
all other industrialized nations
herself with a gun."
combined. Thirty-nine percent of house-
ABA Criminal Justice, July, 1998 In Atlanta, when a gun was holds in the U.S. have at least
involved in domestic violence, one gun and 24 percent contain
In 1995, there were 35,957 death was twelve times more a handgun.
firearm-related deaths. These likely. Overwhelmingly, it was the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun
included 18,503 firearm-related woman who died. Policy and Research, 1997/98
suicides, 15,835 firearm-related Centers for Disease Control and
homicides, 1,225 unintentional Prevention Since 1980, domestic production
deaths gun-firearm related of pistols has more than
deaths, 394 unknown.
Centers for Disease Control and CRIME doubled, while domestic produc-
tion of rifles and shotguns has
Prevention, 1997 been cut 30% and 12% respec-
In a ten-year period between tively.
Gun related deaths are the 1984 and 1993, the firearm
second leading cause of injury homicide rate for persons be- Between 1985 and 1994, an
death in the United States. In tween the ages of 15 and 24 average of 274,000 guns were
1996, there were 34,040 gun- increased 158 percent. reported stolen to the FBI each
related deaths-over 90 deaths Snyder, H. Juvenile Arrests 1997. year.
every day. Bulletin. Washington, DC: OJJDP,
National Vital Statistics Reports.
Of all homicides in 1996, 68
GUNS IN SCHOOL
percent occurred by firearm.
In 1997, there were only 190 According to a report issued by
Among young black males, 91
justifiable handgun homicides the Department of Education,
percent of homicides occurred
by private citizens in the United over 6,000 students were ex-
States. pelled in 1996-97 for bringing
Peters KD, Kichanek, KD, Murphy
Handgun Control, Inc. guns to their public schools.
SL. Deaths: Final data for 1996.
More than twice as many U.S. National Vital Statistics Reports.
1998; 47(9) School is the safest place for
women are shot and killed by children to be. 99 percent of all
their husbands or lovers than by violent youth deaths take place
strangers. outside of school.
Ms. Magazine, 1994 Justice Policy Institute Report, July,