A recently released statistical report on unintentional injuries produced by the National Safety Council found that fatal accidental gun deaths are at the lowest levels since data has been collected.
The Council, chartered by Congress in 1953, released its 2017 Injury Facts edition, which found that, while deaths due to prescription drug abuse continue to rise, those from accidental gunshots continue to fall. As noted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the number of deaths due to fatal firearm accidents fell some 17 percent between 2014 and 2015, the lowest since record keeping began.
Safety programs aimed at curbing gun accidents have been on the rise over the past several generations.
While a number of states instituted firearms safety programs via hunters education classes back in the 1950s, the federal government authorized funding for such initiatives in 1970 as part of the Pittman-Robertson Act. Such programs have been cited by conservation officials when observing historic declines in gun accidents in the field during hunting seasons.
“This latest release from the National Safety Council shows that the vast majority of the 100 million American firearms owners meet the serious responsibilities which come with firearms ownership,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “They store their firearms safely and securely when not in use, and follow the basic rules of firearms safety when handling them.”
The Council estimates the odds of dying by an unintentional firearms discharge is 1 in 6,905, falling between pedacyclist incidents and air and space incidents. The most likely cause of death came from heart disease or cancer, with a 1 in 7 chance.
In related news, the group puts the odds of dying in an “assault by firearm” at 1 in 370, between dying in falls and as a car occupant.
Source: Chris Eger, Guns.com