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Firearm-Related Fatalities Remain at Record Lows

NEWTOWN, Conn.—A new report from the National Safety Council shows that accidental firearm-related fatalities remained at record lows in 2004. Statistics in the council’s “Injury Facts 2005-2006” show a 48 percent decrease over a 10-year period ending in 2004.

The council’s most recent data show 106,742 U.S. residents died in accidents of all types. Less than 1 percent involved firearms. The most common deadly accidents involved motor vehicles, poisonings and falls, claiming 74 percent of all accidental deaths.

“Increased awareness of gun safety and responsible firearms storage have undeniably played a huge part in keeping these numbers at their lowest levels ever,” said Doug Painter, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry.

NSSF directs and funds a number of initiatives focused on firearms safety, including Project ChildSafe®, which, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice, will have distributed more than 35 million free gun safety information kits, including gun locks, across the country by the end of 2006. NSSF also distributes safety literature and videos that emphasize outreach to schools. Additional support is provided for hunter safety programs.

“Continued persistence in communicating the importance of firearms safety will only help drive these record numbers even lower,” Painter added.

Other new findings from the National Safety Council include:

Ÿ There were 700 accidental firearm-related fatalities in 2004, the same as the previous year. Firearm-related fatalities are down 48 percent from the 1,356 accidents reported in 1994.
Ÿ Accidental firearm-related fatalities among children ages 14 and under declined 17 percent when compared to the previous year.
Ÿ Firearms accounted for only 1.1 percent of all accidental injuries to children ages 14 and under, down from 1.3 percent reported the previous year.
Ÿ Accidental firearm-related injuries were down 3 percent among teenagers (ages 15-19) when compared to the previous year.
Ÿ Accidental firearm-related fatalities continue to have the largest percentage decrease of all measured types of accidental fatalities.

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