Unintentional Firearms Deaths Down by Double Digits

By Dave Dolbee published on in News, Safety and Training

We can all agree that even one firearms accident is too many. And, to that end, we will never stop practicing and promoting firearms safety. That being said, news saying that firearms deaths have not only dropped significantly in the last year, but they have hit an all-time low since records keeping began over a century ago is a positive message worth repeating. Here is the full release from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

Data chart showing a downward trend

Good news on the topic of fatal firearms accidents. The National Safety Council’s “Injury Facts—2017 Edition ” shows that the number of fatal firearms accidents dropped 17 percent from 2014 to 2015 to 489, the lowest total since record-keeping began in 1903. That’s about three-tenths of 1 percent of the 146,571 total accidental deaths from all other listed causes, which are up 8 percent from 2014 to 2015. It should be noted that the decrease, which was the largest percentage decline of any category, came in a year that saw record firearms sales to many millions of Americans.

“This latest release from the National Safety Council shows that the vast majority of the 100 million American firearms owners meet the serious responsibilities which come with firearms ownership,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “They store their firearms safely and securely when not in use, and follow the basic rules of firearms safety when handling them.

“The many firearms safety educational programs sponsored by the firearms industry and firearms safety instructors nationwide, such as the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe, are also part of the reason for this ever-downward trend in firearms accidents,” Sanetti added. “We will continue to work with organizations interested in genuine firearms safety to help reduce the number of firearms accidents even further in the days and years ahead.”

What have you done to promote firearms safety? Do you have a tip for others? Share your answers in the comment section.

 

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Comments (14)

  • michael matson

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    Number 1 rule, control your muzzle. If you do that and everything else fails all you have is a hole in the wall, ground, or you punch a hole in the sky.

    Reply

  • Dr. Bert

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    Taught hunter’s safety and took my 2 sons to class as they reached the proper age. Then we practiced what they learned on many hunting trips together. And, I can truthfully say that not once, did I ever have to call them on a firearm safety violation.
    I promote hunter’s safety classes to all the young people I come in contact with.

    Reply

  • michael r gray

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    hello, fewer deaths due to fewer criminals owning them, more legal owners exercising better judgement when handling them, increased awareness of firearms, their operation brought on by firearms classes being attended, more common sense people using more common sense when handling firearms.

    Reply

    • Robert M Fee

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      Hi, I wanted to learn more about the stats on fewer criminals owning guns and unintended deaths. Do you have a reference link you could share.
      Thank you,
      Bob

      Reply

  • Aardvark

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    I have offered lifetime memberships to the Front Sight gun training facility near Las Vegas to all my kids and some other relatives. Great idea to train regularly, and this will allow them to get professional training any time they choose.

    Reply

  • Dana Griffin

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    The #1 comment from Arthur is #1! Work with your children and grandchildren! That is where our future lies! My 5 year old grandson knows that even though all those guns are very interesting, he does not touch unless Dad or Grandpa are working with him!

    Reply

  • Arthur L. Brown Sr.

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    The question: “What have you done to promote firearm safety?”
    My answer: I teach my kids, and grandkids continually the basic safe handling of firearms. i practice the basic safe firearm handling at all times around ANYONE. I do not allow unsafe firearm handling to go on around me without challenging such.
    IT IS UP TO US to be diligent and watchful when ever a firearm is around!
    It is ALWAYS LOADED unless YOU unload it, and when you pass it over to some one else IT IS LOADED!!!!

    Reply

  • Bob

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    “We can all agree that even one firearms accident is too many…” Well actually, no we can’t. We live in an imperfect world, and bad things happen in it. I find your broad, sweeping assertion offensive. Do not presume to speak on my behalf. Spend 30 years carrying a gun every day, rain or shine, hot or cold, dry dusty, or muddy, day and night, under all different lefvels of activity and stressful situations, and accidents can happen. A holster may fail. You might leave a loaded fanny pack in the men’s room during an “emergency”. Older designs and weapons systems can malfunction. Hope you never injure yourself or somebody else my accident, but keep things in perspective. My rights arer much more important than that tiny fraction of a percent of accidents.

    Reply

    • Dudbuster

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      You are obviously one of the CLOWNS that is easily offended. Well – I am offended that you are offended!!!

      Reply

    • Carl

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      You are making a clown of yourself, of course our rights are more important than avoiding any chance of having an accident, that ‘one single life is worth….’ Whatever new restrictions on the second amendment they want to implement doesn’t fly anymore.

      Reply

    • Aardvark

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      Bob: I don’t understand your demeanor. So, from what you said, it appears as though you think accidental gun injuries are ok because people are imperfect. I think you would feel differently if it happened to you or a loved one. I am going to assume you really didn’t mean it the way it appears you did. Obviously, accidents will happen. But wouldn’t it be great if they didn’t?

      Reply

    • Lee

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      So Bob, what level of safety should I aim for at the range, in my home or as I carry? Is 80% cool with everyone then? I mean, I don’t wanna try to be TOO safe in case I mess up.

      Reply

  • Ken R

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    To promote firearm safety and it’s awareness, I have utilized visual reminder stickers one finds on all LEO lockers at a major US metropolitan police department and at that department’s firearm training ranges.
    1. Keep Finger Off Trigger
    2. Point Muzzle in Safe Direction
    3. Remove Magazine
    4. Lock Slide to Rear
    5. LOOK! Make Sure Chamber is Clear.

    There are multiple safety steps listed. The reason for this is that firearm accidents happen when several links in the Safety Chain are not followed. Firearm safety is an ongoing awareness effort that is only effective when those aforementioned steps and others are revisited frequently to foster retention and adherence to those steps.

    Reply

    • Glenn Jainga

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      Hey, Guys, let’s re-evaluate Bob’s comment for a second. It appears that Bob’s environment requires him to be in a state of readiness all the time. We have to admit that his preparedness is the only answer to the possibility of an attack that comes without warning. Any “safety” method/policy will always be a layer of delayed response to an attack. His gut response , I think, is because the argument has been used to support gun possession and restricted carry when a split second is all you have. We must agree that it gives a criminal an unnecessary advantage. Also, he is correct that if we buy into this argument when conditions beyond our control can change the statistics (i.e. the increased incidence of emotional distress) then compliance to government restrictions will follow. The swiftest response is always from a locked-and-loaded condition. And, for sure, accidents will happen.

      Reply

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