Unintentional Shootings Often Rise During Holiday Season, Adding to Urgent Need for Secure Storage
Data on Missouri Unintentional Shootings Here; Gun Violence Prevention Advocates Available for Interviews
MISSOURI – Amid a national increase in the frequency of unintentional shootings by children, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, and Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund today unveiled a new resource detailing various options for securing and storing firearms.
In 2021, there were at least 17 unintentional shootings by children in Missouri, placing it among the five states with the highest number of such shootings this year. 7 of these shootings in Missouri this year resulted in death.
The Guide to Secure Storage Device compares six types of firearm storage options — full-sizegun safes, lockboxes, vehicle gun safes, gun cases, trigger locks, and cable locks — including key attributes and estimated prices.
“Children are curious by nature,” said Sarah Burd-Sharps, director of research at Everytown for Gun Safety. “It’s simply not enough to talk with kids about what to do if they encounter a firearm and hope for the best. Securely storing firearms saves lives, and gun owners have a range of options for doing so.”
“Owning a gun comes with serious responsibilities, and that includes secure storage,” said Mike Hammond, one of the founders of Everytown for Gun Safety’s Gun Owners Affinity Group. “This is a straightforward step that can keep a gun from falling into the hands of a toddler or anyone else who shouldn’t have it. With the holidays approaching and with many kids spending more time at home amid the pandemic, this is even more essential now than ever.”
Guns are the leading cause of death among Missouri’s youth population, with 108 children and teens being killed by guns in an average year. Missouri ranks 5th in the nation for the rate of gun deaths and injuries resulting from unintentional shootings by children. More on Missouri gun violence can be found here.
Additional information about unintentional shootings by children — including state by state data — is available here.
The Be SMART program, developed by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and Moms Demand Action, helps parents and other adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries.The program encourages parents and adults to:
- Secure all guns in their home and vehicles
- Model responsible behavior around guns
- Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes
- Recognize the role of guns in suicide
- Tell your peers to be SMART
For more information on the Be SMART program and how to safely secure your firearms, visit the Be SMART website.