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Responsible Gun Ownership


Responsible Gun Ownership

What is the problem?

There are an estimated 393 million civilian-owned firearms in the United States. With gun ownership comes responsibility. All gun owners should take certain steps to ensure that their guns are used safely, stored securely, and that they don’t end up in the wrong hands.

All gun owners should be educated on the risks associated with guns and the best practices for storing them securely. Under federal law and the vast majority of state laws, a person is not required to complete firearm safety training before buying a gun. This means a person can purchase a gun without ever having handled one—and in many states, that person would also be allowed to carry it in public without training.

Why is it an issue?

Gun ownership comes with gun responsibility.

An estimated 4.6 million American children live in households with at least one unlocked and loaded firearm. It should be no surprise that every year, nearly 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else in this country. The majority of these incidents take place inside a home. Guns from home or a friend or family member’s home are used in the majority of children firearm suicides as well as in incidents of gun violence on school grounds. Parents underestimate their children’s curiosity, and the results can be catastrophic. In addition, estimates suggest that between 200,000 and 500,000 guns are stolen from individuals each year—the most recent nationally representative survey found that approximately 380,000 guns are stolen from private gun owners every year. We are all safer when gun owners are responsible and store their firearms securely.

By the numbers

What are the solutions?