Firearms ownership: One of the safest activities there is

The United Sportsmen of Florida have compiled two fact sheets that provide a wealth of insight into the safety of gun ownership, hunting and shooting.

Citing data sources including the National Center for Health Statistics, the National Safety Council, the Bureau of the Census, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and firearms industry reports, the 2009 Fact Sheet on Firearms Accidents proves that despite a doubling of our country's population since 1930, and a quintupling in the number of privately owned firearms, the annual number of accidental firearms deaths has decreased 75%. In fact, the fatal firearm accident rate has decreased 92% since the all-time high recorded in 1904.

During the last 25 years, the fatal firearm accident rate has experienced the greatest decline among principle types and classes of accidental deaths. The rate of fatal firearm accidents per 100,000 people is 0.27 nationwide. Motor vehicle accidents top the list at 15.3, poisoning at 8.0, falls 6.6, suffocation and choking 2.0. The rate of deaths from drowning, fires and burns, medical "misadventures", environmental factors and even bicycle/ tricycle accidents are all higher than from firearms.

When comparing the number of firearm accidents to other accidents, 57 times more Americans die in motor vehicle accidents, 30 times more die from poisoning, 25 times more die from falls, 7 times more die from choking and suffocation, 5 times more from drowning, 4 times more from fires, and 3 times more from medical "misadventures" and environmental factors respectively.

Nationwide, the annual number of fatal firearm accidents among children has decreased 86% since 1975.

The bottom line is that firearm accidents have decreased dramatically for many years and today account for only a tiny percentage of accidents nationwide.

A separate fact sheet, the 2009 Fact Sheet on Sports Injuries provides statistics which prove that, in addition to the fact that the annual number of firearm accidents is at an all-time recorded low, hunting remains one of the safest recreational/ sports activities.

Citing information from the National Safety Council's Injury Facts 2008 Edition, as well as the International Hunter Education Association, the fact sheet reveals that only 2 people per 100,000 are injured while enjoying the sport of hunting, compared to 2,585 who are injured while playing football, 1,984 basketball players, 1,349 bicycle riders, 1,332 soccer players, 1,296 skateboarders and 1,122 baseball players (all per 100,000).

More people go hunting each year (14,600,000) than play soccer (14,000,000), and yet the numbers prove that hunting is overwhelmingly more safe than soccer in terms of injuries sustained by participants. In fact, of the 23 sports examined, including everything from billiards to cheerleading, only hunting enjoyed injuries of less than ten per 100,000. (Injury numbers include only injuries treated in hospital emergency room facilities.)

Bookmark this page and use these numbers the next time someone recites the urban legend that owning a gun or going hunting is an unsafe activity!

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Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.