Definition: Firearm injuries are injuries that occur because a firearm has been discharged. They can be fatal or nonfatal, intentional or unintentional, and include homicides, assaults, suicides, suicide attempts, and unintentional shootings.

Magnitude of the Problem

Between 2010 and 2014, an average of 6663, 6,600 children and youth ages 24 and under died due to firearm-related injuries (WISQARS).

  • 35% of these deaths were suicides
  • 61% of these deaths were homicides
  • 3% of these deaths were unintentional
  • 1% of these deaths were of undetermined intent


Reducing firearm-related fatalities and injuries requires comprehensive prevention strategies. Best practices include:

  • Safe storage: Firearms should be locked, unloaded, away from ammunition, and out of reach of children.
  • Means reduction: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to lethal means. Firearms are the most lethal of the commonly used suicide means in the U. S.; reducing access to firearms by storing them safety or removing them from the home can help prevent suicide.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online], Fatal Injury Reports, 2010-2014.