Firearm Storage Practices Examined

Tony Gomez, R.S.
Manager, Violence & Injury Prevention (VIP)
Chronic Disease and VIP Section
Public Health-Seattle & King County

A recent study by UW Medicine’s Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center and the University of Washington’s School of Public Health examined the prevalence of children living in homes with firearms that have not been safely stored.

The study, which was the first of its kind to investigate this association at a statewide level, was published November 19 in JAMA Pediatrics. The study uses Washington State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) data to identify adult firearm storage and risk factors involving children, alcohol misuse among adults and related injury prevention risk.  It’s one of the top items trending on JAMA at present. It reaffirms the crucial importance of the need for pediatricians to ask about firearms in the home, and if there are firearms present, to ask about how they are stored.

Thank you to the Washington State Dept. of Health leadership starting with the Secretary’s Office along with the Directors/Health Officers of Kitsap, Snohomish, Seattle-King, Tacoma-Pierce, Spokane and Clark health depts. or districts for having the courage, vision and leadership to support this important survey work going back to 2012.

UW Media Release on JAMA Peds paper on firearms, alcohol and child injury risk

KIRO 7 story on BRFSS-Firearms-Child-Alcohol and Injury Risks

Editor’s note:
Safer Homes Task Force Symposium – December 12, 9:30am-12:00pm
University of Washington Police Department – Seattle
This symposium will focus on firearm injury prevention and what we can do to encourage families to keep their homes safe, particularly when there are children or adults with concerns for self-harm or harming others. Topics will include Extreme Risk Protection Orders, the Seattle Children’s Hospital firearms safety program, and the latest Safer Homes-collected data and related findings. Register online. Can’t make it but still want to listen in? You may dial in via Forefront’s Conference line: 206-616-2663, code 377991.