FirearmsThe unintentional firearm injury death rate among children ages 14 and under in the United States is nine times higher than in 25 other industrialized countries combined. A disproportionate percentage of unintentional shootings kill children 14 and under as compared to those over 14 years old. In 2002, 60 children ages 14 and under died from unintentional firearm-related injuries, the majority of which were between the ages of 10 to 14 years old. Research, education, and community interventions have decreased the unintentional firearm injury death rate among children by 80% from 1987 to 2002.. Other types of guns such as BB guns and pellet guns caused over 8,000 injuries requiring hospital treatment in 2003.
Male children are far more likely to be injured and die from unintentional shootings than female children. Of those children ages 14 and under who are killed by an unintentional shooting, 82 percent are male. Rural areas have higher rates of firearm ownership and unintentional firearm-related deaths and injuries than urban and suburban areas. Shootings in rural areas are more likely to occur outdoors and with a shotgun or rifle; shootings in urban areas are more likely to occur indoors and with a handgun. Children living in the South have an unintentional shooting death rate that is four and a half times that of children living in the Northeast.