Missoula Measures - Guns
Why this topic?
“Guns don’t kill people . . . people kill people.” But people often use guns to kill others, or themselves. While accidental shootings are rare, they do occur, frequently when cleaning the gun, or putting it in or taking it out of a vehicle.
Nationally, about 58% of households own a gun. Missoula Sheriff’s Office
Some studies have suggested that in US states, there is a direct relationship between high gun ownership rates and high gun death rates.
How are we doing?
- In the 1990’s, there was an average of 5.8 gunshot victims treated each year at Missoula’s 2 hospitals.
- State-wide, Fish Wildlife Parks reports 5-10 gun/hunting related injuries/deaths, per year.
- In Missoula, about 550 people take a hunter education course each year. State law requires all those born since 1985 to complete hunter education.
- There are no statistics on the number of crimes committed with a gun in Missoula , but it is low. Missoula Police Dept.
|Healthy People 2020 Targets:|
|Rate of firearm-related deaths||10||9|
|Rate of non-fatal firearm- related injuries||21||19|
- Missoula firearm-related injury rate - 6.4 per 100,000
- In Missoula, between 2008-2011, 44% of suicides were accomplished with a gun. Missoula Police Dept.
- Nationally, the percent of violent crimes in which a gun was used has dropped from about 10.5% in 1994 to about 7% in 2003. US Department of Justice
- Nationally, it is roughly estimated that 11% of people may be in a threatening, violent situation annually; 1.125% of them use a gun in self-defense, usually by only brandishing the weapon. What surveys can help us understand about guns, John R. Lott, Jr., March 2003
- Nationally, the number of gunshot wounds from assaults treated in hospital emergency departments fell from 64,100 in 1993 to 39,400 in 1997, a 39% decline. US Department of Justice
- Nationally, gun ownership is highest among middle-aged, college-educated people of rural small-town America. National Institute of Justice
- Nationally, the most common motivation for owning firearms was recreation. Forty-six percent possessed a gun primarily for protection against crime. National Institute of Justice
One contributing factor to the high number of successful suicides in the northwest is easy access to guns, with our comparatively high numbers of hunters.
According to the 1997 Survey of State Prison Inmates, among those possessing a gun, the source of the gun was from:
- a flea market or gun show - fewer than 2%
- a retail store or pawnshop - about 12%
- family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source - 80%
Concealed Weapons Permits are valid for 4 years, and are only necessary within cities and towns, or mining or logging camps. Law Enforcement officers, the National Guard and Probation officers do not need a permit. Many people who get permits don’t really need them. Applications are reviewed by Sheriff’s Department.
- Valid permits in Missoula County: 1000 - 1200
- Annual Applications: 150 - 200
Background checks for a gun purchase are conducted by gun dealers via the internet. Less than 1% of gun purchase checks results in denial.
Guns and Children
According to a 2013 analysis by the American Academy of Pediatrics,
"Handguns account for the majority of childhood gunshot wounds, and this
number appears to be increasing over the last decade," study lead author
Dr. Arin Madenci said in an academy news release. "Furthermore, states
with higher percentages of household firearm ownership also tended to
have higher proportions of childhood gunshot wounds, especially those
occurring in the home."
Child hospitalizations for gunshot wounds increased from about 4,300 in 1997 to more than 7,700 in 2009, the study found. In-hospital child deaths from gunshot wounds rose from 317 to 503 during that time.
Lok-It-Up - a campaign to promote safe storage of firearms - Washington state