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
Prevention: 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.
In light of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, and current federal and state debates about firearm legislation, this webinar takes a look at laws and policies that are known to reduce levels of firearm-related injuries, whether those injuries were intentional or not. Jon S. Vernick of the National Public Health Law Center will walk participants through the scope of the problem, practices that are and are not proven to reduce firearm-related injuries and death, and public health law issues, with a special focus on children and teens.