House Budget Safe Storage 2019

HOUSE BUDGET 9G.8 (a): SAFE STORAGE AWARENESS INITIATIVE

Multiple Representatives in the NC General Assembly have sponsored a bill that would fund a firearm safe storage awareness initiative. This bill would launch an initiative that would educate the public on the safe storage of guns in the home and would facilitate the distribution of gun locks. Children are at extreme risk of harm when guns are left loaded and unsecured in the home, and this bill would reduce both accidental child deaths and suicides.

UNSECURED FIREARMS CREATE A POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS HOME ENVIRONMENT FOR CHILDREN

  • One out of three homes with children has guns, some often left unlocked and loaded, and four out of five unintentional gun deaths happen in the home.
  • A 2018 study found that approximately 4.6 million American children and minors are living in homes with at least one loaded and unlocked firearm.[1]
  • 73% of children aged nine and under reported knowing the location of their parents’ firearms and 36% admitted that they had handled the weapons, including many whose parents had reported their children did not know the location of their firearm.[2]
  • 89% of accidental shooting deaths among children occur in the home and most of these deaths occur when children are playing with an unsecured loaded gun in their parents’ absence.[3]

STUDIES SHOW SAFE STORAGE MITIGATES THE RISKS OF UNSECURED GUNS

  • Estimates suggest that modest increases in the number of American homes safely storing firearms could prevent almost a third of youth gun deaths due to suicide and unintentional firearm injury.[4]
  • Compared with people who stored their firearms unlocked and/or loaded, those who stored their firearms safely were less likely to die by firearm suicide.[5]
  • Gun owners who do not safely store their firearms are significantly more likely to have their guns stolen.[6]

HOUSE BUDGET 9G.8 (a) WILL LAUNCH INTIATIVES FOR SAFE STORAGE EDUCATION AND ASSIST IN STORAGE EFFORTS

  • The bill calls for a two-year statewide campaign to educate the public on safe storage awareness and distribute gun locks to the public
  • The campaign will develop a website for safe firearm storage. The website will include:
  • Information on and methods for safe storage, especially safely storing firearms around children and youths
  • Contact information for obtaining free or discounted gun locks
  • Information on State laws pertaining to safe firearm storage
  • A Toolkit of information that local communities can use to launch firearm safe storage initiatives at a local level.
  • The campaign will also implement an outreach process for disseminating and teaching the information and Toolkit to the public and local communities

 

[1] Deborah Azrael,  Joanna Cohen, Carmel Salhi, and Matthew Miller, “Firearm Storage in Gun-owning Households with Children: Results of a 2015 National Survey.” Journal of Urban Health (2018): 1-10.

[2] Frances Baxley & Matthew Miller, Parental Misperceptions about Children and Firearms, 160 ARCHIVES OF PEDIATRIC & ADOLESCENT MED. 542, 544 (2006).

[3] Guohua Li et al., Factors Associated with the Intent of Firearm-Related Injuries in Pediatric Trauma Patients, 150 ARCHIVES OF PEDIATRIC & ADOLESCENT MED. 1160, 1162 (1996).

[4] Michael C. Monuteaux, Deborah Azrael, and Matthew Miller, “Association of Increased Safe Household Firearm Storage With Firearm Suicide and Unintentional Death Among US Youths,” JAMA Pediatrics (2019).

[5] Edmond D. Shenassa, Michelle L. Rogers, Kirsten L. Spalding, and Mary B. Roberts, “Safer Storage of Firearms at Home and Risk of Suicide: a Study of Protective Factors in a Nationally Representative Sample,” Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 58, no. 10 (2004): 841–848.

[6] David Hemenway, Deborah Azrael, and Matthew Miller, “Whose Guns are Stolen? The Epidemiology of Gun Theft Victims,” Injury Epidemiology 4, no. 1 (2017).

 

North Carolinians Against Gun Violence  |  919-403-7665  |  www.ncgv.org

 


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