Unintentional Shooting Deaths by Children Rose 31% During COVID-19 Pandemic, New Data From Everytown Shows

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Getty Stock Image

Researchers believe that children being kept home, where these shootings often occur, contributed to the increase.

New data released by the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety has found that during the pandemic, when many people were locked down in their homes, accidental children’s shootings rose 31%.

Between March and December 2020, 313 incidents of unintentional shootings occurred, resulting in 198 injuries and 128 deaths, according to research by the organization. From March to December of the previous year, there were 255 incidents resulting in 169 and 98 deaths.

The organization said that a surge in gun sales and that more kids were at home, where many unintentional shootings by children occur, contributed to the rise in numbers.

The trend has now continued into 2021, with an unintentional shooting by a child happening on most days, according to the organization.

Sarah Burd-Sharps, Everytown's director of research, is hoping the data can help locate where these incidents are happening and in what circumstances in order to help secure guns safely. The data has shown that more shootings occur in states with less strict gun storage laws.

Boys make up the majority of unintentional shooters at 83%, according to the data, and other kids are mostly the victims of them at 91%.

"The good news from this heartbreak is that these incidents are largely preventable," said Burd-Sharps.