Many Deaths and Injuries Caused by Firearms Could Be Prevented
PEMD-91-9: Published: Mar 19, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 17, 1991.
- Full Report:
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the extent to which certain safety devices could prevent firearms-related deaths, focusing on the proportion of accidental deaths that might be averted by modifying the firearms with an automatic engaging childproof safety device or with a device that indicates whether a gun is loaded.
GAO found that: (1) the safety devices could have prevented about 31 percent of accidental deaths caused by firearms; (2) from 1988 through 1989, the childproof safety device could have prevented 8 percent of 107 accidental firearms-related fatalities, and the loading indicator could have prevented 23 percent of the cases involving injuries or deaths; (3) no data existed indicating the actual number of injuries from accidental discharges of firearms; and (4) from 1988 through 1989, data from 10 cities indicated that there was a ratio of 105 injuries for each death, suggesting that the number of nationwide accidental firearm injuries was substantial and far exceeded the number of fatalities.
Matter for Congressional Consideration
Status: Closed - Not Implemented
Comments: Legislation was introduced to enact the recommendation in the last Congress, but it has not been reintroduced, and there are no current plans to do so.
Matter: Congress should amend the Consumer Product Safety Act to clearly establish that the Consumer Product Safety Commission can regulate the risk of injury associated with firearms.