Although we would like to believe that our children or children we know could not possibly be victims of firearm suicide or accidental injury, it is possible. UTAH STATISTICS. Utah has the highest birth rate in the nation and is the second most armed state in the country. Many households in our state contain firearms which are used legally for hunting, collecting, or self-defense. As parents and neighbors, it is our job to protect our children and teenagers from possible harm or death from improperly stored firearms. Some national studies have shown that between 40-50% of firearms in homes are not stored safely. SAFE STORAGE. Not only does this put our loved ones at risk, it could put firearms into criminal hands if they are stolen, putting everyone at risk.
Another area of concern is when an improperly stored gun is brought by a child to school or to another public place putting others at risk even if it is done innocently or as a joke. This is a serious matter and will not be tolerated by the schools resulting in suspension or expulsion of the child. As parents, a good way to get involved with school policy is through your local Parent Teacher Association (PTA) http://www.utahpta.org/ or through the organization Utah Parents Against Gun Violence http://utparents.org/
Certain children may be at higher risk for suicide attempts including children that are bullied, children suffering from depression and mood disorders, and a recent study that showed adopted children may have 4 times the increased risk. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/09/04/peds.2012-3251.abstract
Certain gun storage practices can reduce risk of youth suicide and accidental injuries
Seattle—Keeping a gun locked, unloaded, and storing ammunition in a locked and separate location can lower the risk of unintentional injuries and suicide among youth, according to a study in the February 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Bulletproof Kids Utah – Suicide Prevention
Utah Parents Against Gun Violence