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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 127649 Find in a Library
Title: When Children Shoot Children (From Gun Control Debate, P 294-299, 1990, Lee Nisbet, ed. -- See NCJ-127634)
Author(s): G J Wintemute; S P Teret; J F Kraus; M A Wright; G Bradfield
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Prometheus Books
Amherst, NY 14228-2197
Sale Source: Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive
Amherst, NY 14228-2197
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study describes the 88 unintentional firearm deaths in which both the shooter and the victim were California children 14 years of age or younger during the years 1977 through 1983.
Abstract: Using coroner or medical examiner reports and supplemental information from local police agencies, 88 cases were identified in which the shooter was also under 15 years of age. Contributing factors that are susceptible to intervention exist. Easy access to firearms is chief among these. In at least 48 percent of residential shootings, children gained access to firearms that were stored loaded -- but never locked away -- in the house where the shooting occurred. Defects in current firearms design are important. In 36 percent of cases, the record contained a clear statement that the child shooter did not know the gun was loaded or did not know it was real, or the shooter's age was such that he/she would be unlikely to make such determinations reliably given current design practices. Likewise, firearms safety catches should be designed so that they are automatically and always engaged unless held in a disengaged position by the user. Those firearms that figure most commonly in firearm homicide were also commonly involved in these shootings: handguns and .22 caliber revolvers. 17 references
Main Term(s): Firearm accidents
Index Term(s): Crimes against children; Fatalities
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