April 7, 2010
Air Force Article Misstates Firearm Accident Number
NSSF is second to none in its admiration for the United States Air Force. Yet when an Air Force article about gun safety misstates a statistic about firearms-related accidents, we believe it’s our duty to point out the inaccuracy so that gun ownership continues to be rightly viewed as safe.
An otherwise very good article promoting firearm safety to Air Force personnel starts off by asking, “Did you know, every year more than 500 children die from accidental gunshot wounds?”
The figure is incorrect.
Firearms-related fatalities for children 14 and under are at historic lows, with 2007 figures–the most recent available–showing 75 unintentional fatalities. Even one fatal accident involving a child and a firearm is one too many, but 75 is certainly not 500. The misstated statistic belies the tremendous progress that has been made in reducing accidents. Consider that between 1996 and 2006 unintentional firearms fatalities for children declined by 61 percent.
We attribute the reduction in accidental fatalities—both among children and adults–to increased awareness of firearm safety due to programs like NSSF’s Project ChildSafe and many other firearms safety initiatives, plus articles like the one appearing in the Air Force Print News Today.
To put into practice the article’s firearm safety message, NSSF reminds Air Force law enforcement agencies that they may request a quantity of Project ChildSafe firearm safety kits, which include a cable-style gun lock and safety brochure. There is no cost for kits, which should be distributed to firearms owners. NSSF also makes available several firearm safety brochures and safety videos designed for viewing by adults and children. Learn about them here: www.nssf.org/safety.