Children

  • Child gun-related deaths increased 29% in 2004.  A total of 41 children died from gun-related injuries in 2004, up from 29 deaths in 2003.  Homicide accounted for 54% of the deaths; 32% were the result of suicide; 10% were the result of accidents; and 5% were the result of undetermined intent. 
  • An even larger number of children were severely injured by guns, but survived.  In 2004, 78 children were hospitalized due to gun-related injuries.  Sixty-four percent of the injuries were the result of assaults; 32% were the result of accidents; 3% were the result of self-inflicted injuries; and 1% were the result of undetermined intent.
  • Another 103 children required emergency room visits because of gun-related injuries, but survived.  In contrast to children with severe gunshot injuries, accidents accounted for 53% of the ER visits; 38% were the result of assault-related injuries; 5% were the result of undetermined intent; 2% were the result of self-inflicted injuries; and 2% were the result of legal intervention. 
  • More children died from gunshot injuries (41) than from pool drownings (31) in 2004. 
  • The majority of children who died from gunshot injuries in 2004 were teens 15-17.  A total of 29 gun-related deaths involved children 15-17; 9 involved children 10-14; 2 involved children 5-9; and 1 involved a child 1-4.  The Arizona Child Fatality Review Team cites “access to firearms” as a preventable factor in most of these child deaths – particularly for deaths involving teens.
  • According to the 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 7% of 9th through 12th grade students in Arizona carried a gun in the 30 days preceding the survey.
  • Over a quarter of all youth responding to the Arizona Youth Survey in 2004 said it would be easy to obtain a gun.  Many youth who reported carrying guns also reported feeling unsafe in their neighborhoods, selling drugs, and frequently being threatened with weapons.