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With Reports of Surge in Gun Purchases, Brady Emphasizes Importance of Safe Storage to Reduce Unintentional Shootings, Family Fire

Washington, D.C., March 17, 2020 – In response to reports of increased firearm purchases due to fears over coronavirus, Brady urges all gun owners to remain vigilant in their safe storage practices, locking guns securely, unloaded, and separate from ammunition, to help prevent instances of Family Fire.

Brady President Kris Brown explained:

“We’ve heard reports of increased purchases of guns and ammunition over the past week as fear and uncertainty due to Coronavirus have likewise increased. While it is understandable to seek what can feel like protection in times of upheaval, we must acknowledge the risks that bringing guns into the home pose and take all appropriate measures to mitigate that risk.

First, unsecured and improperly stored firearms in the home can quickly lead to unintentional shootings, what we term ‘Family Fire.’ These shootings injure or kill eight children or teens every day.

Additionally, unsecured guns place their owners at risk. Individuals with unsecured guns in the home can be up to two times as likely to be murdered, while guns in the home increase the risk of homicide in a domestic violence incident by up to 500 percent and increase the likelihood of a fatal outcome in the case of a suicide attempt.

In this uncertain time, we urge all gun owners to ensure that their weapons are safely stored – locked in a safe and unloaded, with ammunition stored separately – and to have appropriate conversations with their families to reduce the risk of Family Fire. Just like we can all do our part to slow the spread of this virus, we can do our part to help prevent unintentional shootings in the home.”

About Family Fire:

Incidents of Family Fire are shootings facilitated by unsecured firearms. Unintentional shootings, suicide, and intentional shootings are all components of Family Fire. For more information visit: EndFamilyFire.org

Family Fire Statistics:

  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.
  • 51 percent of all suicide fatalities are by firearm
  • The risk of death by suicide is three times greater for those in homes with loaded firearms than for those in homes with unloaded guns.
  • Individuals living in homes where guns are stored unlocked have double the risk of dying from suicide than those where firearms are locked up.
  • Eight children and teens are injured or killed a day due to an unlocked or unsupervised gun in the home.
  • Improvements in safe storage practices among gun owners, such as locking all household firearms, could reduce family fire among youth as much as 30 percent.
  • Keeping guns locked and unloaded reduces family fire risk by 73 percent.

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Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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