Many With Firearm in the House Store Firearms Loaded, Unlocked

Across all eight states, about one half of those with a loaded firearm stored at least one loaded firearm unlocked
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THURSDAY, June 13, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Among individuals with a firearm kept in the house, a considerable proportion report that the firearm was stored loaded, and about half report that the loaded firearm was stored unlocked, according to research published in the June 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Norah W. Friar, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate the prevalence of keeping firearms in or around the home and related storage practices. Data were included for eight states that administered the firearm safety module in 2021 and 2022.

The researchers found that 18.4 to 50.6 percent of respondents (in California and Alaska, respectively) reported that a firearm was kept in or around the home. Of those with a firearm in or around the home, 19.5 to 43.8 percent in Minnesota and North Carolina, respectively, reported that a firearm was stored loaded. About one half of those with a loaded firearm stored at least one loaded firearm unlocked across all eight states. A loaded firearm was stored unlocked in 25.2 to 41.4 percent (Ohio and Alaska, respectively) among respondents with a child and a loaded firearm in the house.

"Understanding the variation in state- and demographic-specific firearm storage behaviors might help state and local governments, community partners, and practitioners create focused approaches to decreasing firearm-related injuries and deaths in their communities," the authors write.

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