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States with Strict Firearm Laws Have Lower Rates of Pediatric Death Due to Firearm Injury


Firearms are the second leading cause of pediatric death in the US and state level firearm legislation varies widely. Authors of the study, “State Gun Laws and Pediatric Firearm-Related Mortality,” in the August 2019 issue of Pediatrics (published online July 15) conducted a cross-sectional study over a 5-year period that looked at the rates of pediatric firearm injuries in relation to state firearm laws. They found that states with stricter firearm legislation had the lowest rates of pediatric death from firearms. States that had laws which had been in effect for five years or more requiring universal background checks for firearm purchase had lower pediatric death rates than those states that did not have laws requiring background checks. The presence of these laws was associated with more than a 35% lower rate of pediatric firearm-related death, even after adjustment for socioeconomic factors and proportion of residents owning a gun.


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