Report: Gun accident deaths now at all-time low

Article originally published in America's 1st Freedom magazine, March 2007 issue

According to data released recently by the National Center for Health Statistics, between 2003-2004 gun accident deaths in the United States fell 11 percent and the per capita rate of such accidents fell 12 percent, to their lowest points in recorded history.

Over the last 20 years, along with a steady increase in gun ownership - more than 4 million new guns per year, on average - fatal gun accidents have decreased 61 percent. Credit for the latter trend goes largely to training programs, such as those carried out by NRA's more than 51,000 certified firearm instructors.

Statistics on gun accident deaths have been kept since 1903. Since the all-time high in 1904, the rate of such accidents has decreased 88 percent. Their number has decreased 80 percent since the all-time high recorded in 1930.

The number of such accidents among children is down 89 percent since 1975, despite a small increase between 2003-2004. Today, the odds against a child in the U.S. dying in a gun accident are a million to one.

Speaking of relative risks, we should point out that guns are involved in only 0.6 percent of accidental deaths. By comparison, 39 percent of accidental deaths involve motor vehicles. For detailed statistics on firearm accidents, see the NRA-ILA Firearm Safety fact sheet and state-specific data tables within the Issues section of the website.

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