Guns Often Stored Unsafely in U.S. Homes, C.D.C. Survey Suggests

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 a report released on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report, which relied on data from 2021 and 2022 from eight states, found that many gun owners kept weapons unlocked and loaded in their homes despite rising rates of suicides involving guns and firearm fatalities among children.

Gun storage practices varied across the eight states: Alaska, California, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Oklahoma.

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 percent 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.

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