Half of US gun owners do not safely store their guns

Vastavam web: More than half of gun owners in the US do not safely store all their guns, according to a study.Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US found that 54 per cent of the 1,444 gun owners surveyed reported not storing all their guns safely.The survey defined safe storage as all guns stored in a locked gun safe, cabinet or case, locked into a gun rack or stored with a trigger lock or other lock.”More than half of gun owners in the US are not storing all of their guns safely – in a locked gun safe, cabinet or case, locked into a gun rack, or secured with a trigger lock,” said Crifasi, lead author of the study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The survey also found that children under the age of 18 were present in about one-third, or 34 per cent, of the homes.Gun owners were 44 per cent more likely to report safely storing all their firearms if they have a child under the age of 18 in the home.Concerns about home defense was selected by 43 per cent, a gun safety training course by 35 per cent, and family discussions by 30 per cent.

In 2016, the most recent year of complete data, there were 1,637 firearm deaths among children under the age of 18; 39 per cent of these deaths were the result of suicide, researchers said.States with child access prevention laws that require gun owners to ensure children do not gain unauthorised access to their firearms report fewer firearm suicides among adolescents.Gun owners who cited discussions with family members as influencing their decisions were 39 per cent more likely to practice safe storage.

“Requiring gun purchasers to take safety training classes, as a handful of states already do, might lead to more gun owners storing their guns safely,” said Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.The survey also found that gun owners who reported that their storage decisions were influenced by concerns about home defence were 30 per cent less likely to practice safe storage for all their firearms.