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A new study has suggested that 41 percent of teens in a home with a firearm have easy access to the weapon – the same percentage of teens also have mental health problems, have tried to kill themselves or have thought about, according to the study.
"Studies have consistently shown that children living in homes with safely-stored firearms are less likely to be shot, and safe firearm storage is widely recommended by gun rights organizations and public health officials," Dr. Joseph Simonetti, lead researcher, said. "Trigger locks and gun lockboxes can be purchased for less than $10 online, and in common stores."
As part of the study, Simonetti pointed out that suicide is the second leading cause of teen death, and having a firearm in the home puts them at extra risk for suicide. In one study, published to the Scientific American website, teens who were older, male and white reportedly had the easiest access to firearms.
Simonetti and his team based their findings on data collected from over 10,000 teens ages 13 to 18. Despite the findings, Simonetti cautioned that the data had been collected between 2001 and 2004, meaning that some of the results could be limited. Indeed, one report noted that the number of firearms deaths for youth under the age of 20 fell by 10 percent since 1998 and 35 percent since 1994.
“One of the limitations of this study is we’re using data that was collected from 2001 to 2004,” Simonetti said. “We need better studies on how to promote safe firearms storage especially in households with children and children with mental illness.”
The study was conducted at the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Harborview Medical Center. On Saturday, Simonetti spoke about his results.
Source: Fox News / Photo Credit: Flickr
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