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Among the uninitiated, there is a common misconception that where there are guns, there must be accidental discharges and deaths as a result. But the facts could not be further from the truth! Findings of the National Safety Council show that unintentional firearms fatalities remain at historically low levels. In fact, the number of unintentional firearms-related fatalities has declined by 57 percent over the past two decades. The statistics prove that firearm safety training is effective.
Some of the interesting findings in the 2014 Edition of Firearms-Related Injury Statistics, compiled by the NSSF, include:
- Firearms are involved in fewer than 1⁄2-percent of all unintentional fatalities in the United States. In a side-by-side comparison, firearms rank among the lowest causes of injury.
- Firearms are involved in less than 1.8 percent of unintentional fatalities among children 14 years of age and under and are among the least likely causes of unintentional fatality.
- As firearms safety education programs have increased, the number of unintentional firearms-related fatalities has decreased.
- Over the past 10 years, the unintentional firearm fatality rate per 100,000 population has declined by 33 percent; since the beginning of record-keeping in 1903, this rate has declined by 94 percent!
- Among fatal accidents at home, firearms rate well below poisoning, falls, natural heat and cold, mechanical suffocation, and many other categories.
NSSF has compiled statistics from agencies independent of the gun industry, such as the National Safety Council, to demonstrate the relative safety of firearms ownership and the effectiveness of firearms safety training as a deterrent to accidental discharges. We suggest that you download and print the report to keep handy for those times when you need facts to support your assertions about firearms safety training.