Skip to navigation menu Skip to content
Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Gun Sales in Homes With Teens Rose During Pandemic

Gun Sales in Homes With Teens Rose During Pandemic

THURSDAY, Aug. 5, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. gun sales increased early in the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of those firearms ended up in homes with teens, researchers say.

"This finding is concerning because we know that the single biggest risk factor for adolescent firearm injuries is access to an unsecured firearm," said study co-author Dr. Patrick Carter. He is co-director of the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.

A national survey of primary caretakers of teenagers found that 10% of those households bought a gun between March and July of 2020, and 3% became first-time gun owners. The survey was conducted by the Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens (FACTS) Consortium.

In homes that already had a gun, new guns were more likely to be bought by those who already reported storing at least one gun unlocked and loaded, according to the study.

It's not clear what prompted the increase in gun buying identified in the survey, but it raises concerns, the researchers said.

"This study demonstrates that we have more work to do to help families that already have firearms, or may purchase new firearms, to reduce the potential risks to their children by promoting safer storage practices that help to reduce the risk of teen firearm injury and death," Carter said in a school news release.

Each year, nearly 50 out of every 100,000 U.S. high school-age teens are injured by guns and 10 out of every 100,000 are killed. Teens in that age group are more likely to die from a gun injury than any other cause, the researchers added.

There was no association between the mental health status of parents or teens and the likelihood of buying a gun. However, one in seven (14%) of the households that bought a gun in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic also had a teen with depression symptoms, according to the survey.

The study findings have significant implications for public health. The results were published online recently in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

Study co-author Marc Zimmerman, co-director of the Firearm Injury Prevention Institute, said, "If we know that families are storing firearms unsafely and that a certain amount of them have teens who are experiencing depression, that can inform how we would tailor messaging around safe storage to families at increased risk."

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on guns in the home.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, July 30, 2021

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Childrens Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Dr. James Bennett
Dr. J. Marc Cardelia
Dr. Peter Moskal
Dr. Cara Novick
Dr. Carl St. Remy
Sports Medicine
Dr. Joel Brenner
Dr. Aisha Joyce
Dr. Micah Lamb
Dr. David Smith
Health Tips
Helping Kids Get Over their Fears
When Can a Child Wear Contact Lenses
Teen Health Quiz
Diseases & Conditions
Adolescent (13 to 18 Years)
Amenorrhea in Teens
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma in Children Index
Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) in Children
Bone Marrow Transplant for Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Breast Conditions in Young Women
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Ewing Sarcoma in Children
Female Growth and Development
Gynecological and Menstrual Conditions
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) in Children
High Blood Pressure in Children and Teens
Home Page - Adolescent Medicine
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Major Depression in Teens
Meningitis in Children
Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhea) in Teens
Menstrual Disorders
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Myasthenia Gravis (MG) in Children
Newborn Behaviors and Activities
Oral Health
Osteosarcoma (Osteogenic Sarcoma) in Children
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries of the Face and Head- Overview
Teens and Diabetes Mellitus
Television and Children
The Growing Child- Teenager (13 to 18 Years)
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Heart
The Kidneys
Your Child's Asthma
Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.