Children’s Unintentional Shootings: Over 150 Deaths in a Year, Advocacy Group Reports

Washington, D.C. – Everytown, an advocacy group for firearm safety, reported a disturbing trend of unintentional shootings by children resulting in 157 deaths and 270 injuries last year. According to Everytown’s data, children aged 14 to 17 or 5 and under were often the ones pulling the trigger, leading to tragic outcomes where half of the incidents involved self-inflicted wounds. In the other half, the victims were usually siblings, cousins, or friends, leaving multiple families to cope with grief and regret.

Everytown’s call for action is fueled by the lack of comprehensive national data on unintentional shootings, urging federal and state authorities to take greater measures in tracking and providing public information on such incidents to prevent future tragedies. The CDC, while providing broad data on injuries and deaths from unintentional shootings, faces limitations in the timely reporting of detailed information. This deficit in data collection hinders the identification of effective preventive measures.

The surge in gun sales and the presence of loaded and unlocked firearms in millions of American households pose a significant risk to children’s safety, with a 2015 survey estimating that 4.6 million children lived in homes with access to such firearms. The tragic stories of children like a 2-year-old girl in Indiana, an 8-year-old boy in Alabama, and a 12-year-old boy in Florida serve as stark reminders of the devastating consequences of improper firearm storage.

Despite efforts by organizations like Moms Demand Action, which is affiliated with Everytown, the issue of safe firearm storage remains a pressing concern for communities nationwide. Volunteers like Julvonnia McDowell, who lost her son in an unintentional shooting, advocate for open conversations and proactive measures to prevent further tragedies. McDowell’s poignant reminder that the impact of negligent firearm storage can affect any family underscores the urgency of addressing this issue collectively.