Tips for Preventing Accidental Shootings

According to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 27,000 people visit hospital emergency rooms each year due to unintentional firearm injuries, and approximately 500 people die from these types of injuries annually. People in the United States are four times more likely to experience fatal unintentional firearm injuries compared to citizens in any other country. The firearms safety education professionals from Gun Safety Training Pros, your premier choice when you want to take a gun safety course online, offer the following advice on how to prevent an unintentional shooting with your gun.

Understand the Most Common Risk Factors

A study performed by researchers Sara J. Solnick and David Hemenway indicated the most common circumstances leading to unintentional firearm fatalities include:

  • Playing with a loaded gun – 28.3 percent
  • Being unaware the gun was loaded – 17.2 percent 
  • Hunting – 13.8 percent

Adolescents represent the highest risk group for unintentional firearm injuries. Gun owners must also consider the risks involved with gun ownership in homes with young children or cognitively impaired older adults.

Avoid Drinking Alcohol when Handling Firearms

Another study performed by Douglas J. Wiebe indicated 25 percent of unintentional firearm fatalities occurred when individuals were under the influence of alcohol. Statistics also revealed 50 percent of adults aged 20 to 29 who experienced fatal unintentional shootings did so secondary to alcohol consumption. In adults aged 60 or older, alcohol consumption occurred in 11.3 percent of unintentional firearm fatalities.

Individuals under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs should never handle firearms. Being under the influence of alcohol increases the likelihood of impaired judgment or mood, which increases the probability of violent behavior. Handling a firearm while impaired exponentially increases the risk of an unintentional shooting.

Use Storage Safes

Gun safes come in a variety of sizes and styles. The containers are designed to ensure protection while limiting access to the firearms inside. Safes combine keypads with traditional locks and keys. The setup enables gun owners to quickly access firearms when needed while providing adequate protection. The safe’s key must be stored in a location that isn’t easily accessible. Likewise, ammunition should be stored in a separate location under lock and key.

Consider Trigger Locks

Cable systems and trigger guards are available to prevent gun operation. A cable system consists of a combination lock or keypad attached to a cable. Inserting the cable through the magazine chamber or revolver wheel prevents firearm use. However, some argue the cable might easily be compromised and render the firearm usable. Trigger guard options block the space housing the trigger, which also prevents use.

Learn & Teach Firearm Safety

Anyone old enough to own and use a firearm should consider taking a firearm safety course. Firearm safety must also be taught to spouses, children, and anyone else in a home where guns are present. Sharing stories about unintentional shootings combined with images may seem extreme, but it can drive home the message that firearms pose a high risk of danger.

If you already own a firearm or you’re considering purchasing one, it’s essential to know how to use and store it safely. Gun Safety Training Pros is dedicated to providing the finest firearms training available. If you want to take a high-quality gun safety class, we have what you need. For more information, contact one of our knowledgeable team members today at

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