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Did you know...

  • In the United States, 36,247 people died in 2015 as a result of firearms. This is just fewer than the 38,818 death resulting from motor vehicle incidents. Of these firearm deaths, 61% of were suicides and 36% were homicides.
    CDC WONDER (Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research), Accessed June 2017

  • In Washington state, 39 children (age 17 or younger) died as a result of guns in 2015. This is the equivalent of a child or teen being killed by gunfire every 9 days. An additional 30 children were hospitalized. In King County, 6 children died as a result of guns in 2015, and 9 other children were hospitalized in King County during this period.
    WA State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics Death Certificate data & Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System, June 2017

  • In 2015, an estimated 150,000 adults in King County reported keeping a firearm unlocked.
    Washington State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2015

Children, youth and guns

Firearms and our schools:

  • During the 2015-2016 school year, the WA State Superintendent of Public Instruction reported 130 incidents involving a firearm on school premises, transportation systems, or school facilities. These incidents resulted in 62 suspensions and 36 expulsions. Of these, 21 suspensions and 15 expulsions were in school districts located in King County.
    WA Superintendent of Public Instruction, Weapons in Schools Report

  • In 2016, 11% of 8th grade students, 16% of 10th grade students, and 23% of 12th grade students in King County reported that they would not be caught if they carried a handgun without parental permission.
    WA State Healthy Youth Survey, 2016

  • In 2016, 4% of King County 10th and 12th grade students reported having carried a gun on at least 1 day during the last 30 days.
    WA State Healthy Youth Survey, 2016

Guns in our homes:

  • In 2015, approximately 21% of King County adults (340,000 people) reported firearms present in or around their homes. Among these adults, an estimated 31% (105,000 people) stored firearms loaded and an estimated 43% (150,000 people) stored firearms unlocked. Approximately 15% (51,000 people) of firearm owners reported storing them loaded and unlocked.
    WA State Department of Health, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2015

  • Parent perceptions of children's behavior with firearms do not predict actual behavior. One study revealed that boys estimated to have "low interest" in playing with a real handgun were as likely to play with or pull the trigger as children perceived to have "moderate to high interest."1 Another study revealed that parents living in homes with guns who reported their children had never handled a gun in their homes were contradicted by their child's self-report. 2
    American Academy of Pediatrics 2001; Arch Pediatric Adolescent Med. 2006

Gun suicides

  • Firearms accounted for 47% of suicides in Washington state in 2015. Suicides made up 75% of firearm deaths in Washington State during the same year.
    WA State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics Death Certificate data, June 2017

  • Between 2013 - 2015, 118 youth (age 17 or younger) died by suicide in Washington; 47 of these youth (40%) died from firearms. During the same period, 25 youth died by suicide in King County; 7 youth (28%) used firearms.
    WA State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics Death Certificate data, June 2017

  • Adolescents with access to firearms are 2.6 times as likely to die by suicide as adolescents without access to firearms.3
    Annals of Internal Medicine 2014

  • A study of adolescent suicides by firearm found that over half were carried out with guns from the adolescent's home. More than 75% of firearms used in suicide attempts and unintentional injuries were stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or friend.4, 5
    Arch Pediatric Adolescent Med. 1999; Journal of Adolescent Health 2008

Gun violence, homicides and crime

  • In 2015, 62% of homicides in Washington State were committed with firearms.
    WA Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs, Crime in WA, 2015 Annual Report

  • In 2015, 28 homicides occurred among youth (ages 17 and under) in Washington State; 17 (61%) of these youth died as a result of firearm homicides.
    WA State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics Death Certificates, June 2017

  • 17 youth (under the age of 18) were hospitalized for firearm assault injuries in Washington in 2015; King County youth accounted for 47% of these nonfatal injury hospitalizations (8 youth).
    WA State Department of Health, Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System, June 2017

  • According to the WA Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, the total value of firearms reported stolen in Washington in 2016 was $3,312,794. Approximately $2,569,600 worth of these firearms were reported stolen in King County.
    WA Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs, June 2017

Guns in Washington state and King County

  • An estimated 34% of Washington adults (1,825,000 people) 18 years and older reported having a firearm in or around their home in 2015. Just under half of these adults (46% or 839,000 people) reported having an unlocked firearm. Access to firearms, including storage practices, are a known risk factor for firearm suicide – especially among youth.6
    WA State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance, System, 2015, 2013

  • 308 Washington State residents were hospitalized for nonfatal gun injuries in 2015, including 30 children under 18.
    WA State Department of Health, Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System l, June 2017

  • In 2015, 714 Washington State residents died from a gun injury, including 39 children under the age of 18.
    WA State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics Death Certificates, June 2017

  • In 2015, in the King County area firearm fatalities cost almost $200 million in medical costs and lost productivity.
    CDC WISQARSTM (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System), June 2017

  • 95 King County residents were hospitalized for nonfatal gun injuries in 2015, including 9 children ages 17 and younger.
    WA State Department of Health, Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System, June 2017

  • 146 King County residents died from a gun injury in 2015, including 6 children ages 17 and younger.
    WA State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics Death Certificates, June 2017

Data methods

National fatality data were obtained from CDC WONDER™ (Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research). Washington State data on firearm ownership and storage comes from the Washington State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Washington State injury and fatality records come from the WA State Department of Health. Data on high school student access to guns comes from the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey for 2016.

References

1 Jackman GA, Farah MM, Kellerman AL, Simon HK. Seeing is Believing: What do Boys Do When They Find a Real Gun? Pediatrics. 2001: 107(6): 1247-1250; DOI: 10.1542/peds.107.6.1247. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/107/6/1247

2 Baxley F, Miller M. Parental Misperceptions About Children and Firearms. Arch Pediatric Adolescent Med. 2006; 160(5):542-547. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.5.542. http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=204929

3 Anglemyer A, Horvath T, Rutherford G. The Accessibility of Firearms and Risk for Suicide and Homicide Victimization Among Household Members. Annals of Internal Medicine. 160(2):101-110.

4 Grossman DC, Reay DT, Baker SA. Self-inflicted and Unintentional Firearm Injuries Among Children and Adolescents: The Source of the Firearm. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999;153(8):875-878. doi:10.1001/archpedi.153.8.875. http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=347593

5 Wright MA, Wintenute GJ, Claire BE. Gun Suicide by Young People in California: Descriptive epidemiology and Gun Ownership. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2008. 43(6):619-622.

6 Grossman DC, Mueller BA, Riedy C, et al. Gun Storage Practices and Risk of Youth Suicide and Unintentional Firearm Injuries. JAMA. 2005. 23(6):707-714