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June 14, 2024

One in four guns in Ohio homes with children are unsecured, CDC study finds

Many firearm owners in the United States do not securely store their guns, even when the weapon is kept loaded and there are children in the home, according to new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Source: “In Homes With Children, Even Loaded Guns Are Often Left Unsecured,” New York Times, June 13).
Ohio was one of eight states (along with Alaska, California, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Oklahoma) studied in the CDC report released on Thursday.
Of those surveyed in Ohio who had both children and a loaded gun in the house, about a quarter said that the weapon was kept unlocked; it was the smallest percentage among the seven states with available data for that metric. In Alaska, more than 40% of respondents fell into that category.
In all eight states, about half of respondents who reported having loaded firearms in their homes said that at least one loaded gun was kept unlocked, a finding consistent with similar studies about firearm storage behavior.

The number of children who die by suicide has been trending up for more than a decade. In 2022, firearm suicides among children reached the highest rate in more than 20 years, which public health experts and advocacy groups largely attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic and rising gun sales.
A smaller number of children are killed each year by accidental gunfire, which often happens while playing with the weapon or showing it to a friend. A 2023 C.D.C. report on unintentional firearm deaths among children found the involved firearm was often loaded and unlocked on a night stand.