ECU Study Examines Gun Safety And Public Health

Dec 7, 2018

Credit ECU News Services

A recent study from East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research, an estimated 393 million firearms are owned by civilians in American, but little is known about how many Americans follow basic gun safety and the implications for public health.  

The survey found nearly one in 10 Americans live in a home with a loaded and unlocked gun.  The report also found that one in four adults who own a firearm admit to unsafe gun storage.  Dr. Anne Rafferty, is a professor of public health and one of the authors of the study.  She said the statistics are concerning.

“Many people in the public health realm would see that as a risk factor for both intentional, that would be homicide and suicide, and unintentional injuries and death.”

The report showed there were no major differences in gun safety practices between rural residents and urban citizens, or major differences between Democrats and Republicans.  It found that households earning less than $40,000 each year were more likely to report the presence of a loaded and unlocked firearm in their residence.  The report is part of the Life, Liberty and Happiness Project, a nationwide survey of more than 1,100 Americans conducted in May and June by the Center for Survey Research at ECU using mail, internet and phone surveys of adults across the U.S.