Best Practices to Prevent Firearm Injuries

November 2002

The Problem

On the average day, one Minnesotan dies from a firearm injury, and another has a nonfatal firearm injury. Firearms are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury death in Minnesota. Firearm injuries are frequently severe; half of those who are injured die. There is a huge racial disparity in Minnesota: the rate of death from firearm injuries is 83 times greater for 15-24 year old African American males than it is for the general population (all ages and races).

Suicide is a major issue: 74 percent of the fatal firearm injuries are suicides rather than assaults or unintentional injuries.


Prevention Strategies

  • Collect and analyze data.
  • Support new community prevention efforts based on local data and needs.
  • Develop local Gun Violence Action Teams (the MDH Injury and Violence Prevention Unit has local contacts for teams currently active).
  • Promote safe storage of guns and ammunition.
  • Promote the use and distribution of trigger locks.
  • Supervise all youth activity with firearms.
  • Limit access to firearms.
  • Promote and provide gun and hunter safety training.
  • Promote zero use of alcohol while hunting, carrying, or using a firearm.
  • Enforce hunting laws; cite hunters.
  • Provide age-appropriate counseling by primary care providers.
  • Support restricted youth access to alcohol.

Links

(Search these sites for information related to the prevention of Firearm Injuries)

*There may be links on this site that are external to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The MDH is not responsible for the content of external sites, nor does it endorse or guarantee the services or information described or offered on external sites.

Brainline Military: An online service to help service members - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, and Reserve - and veterans with brain injury and their families. brainlinemilitary.org/
Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center: Includes information on tested firearm interventions. depts.washington.edu/hiprc/
Injury Control Resource Information Network: Access data, other resources, and information on education and training. www.injurycontrol.com/
Injury and Violence Prevention Links: Access other sites that are related to injury and violence prevention. www.health.state.mn.us/injury/links.cfm
Join Together Online: Devoted to prevention of gun violence and substance abuse. Contains links to news articles, research reports, and grant opportunities. www.drugfree.org/join-together
Student Pledge Against Gun Violence: A nationwide campaign for secondary school students to sign a pledge not to bring guns to school and not to use guns to settle arguments. www.pledge.org/


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