Nearly one in four young adults and teenagers admitted to a Flint, Michigan, emergency department for non-sexual assault injuries say they currently possess a firearm of their own or have possessed one within the past six months, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
The estimate is higher than past studies have found. One reason, according to the researchers, is that the young people studied had been involved in violent disputes; previous research looked at all comers to the emergency room.
Only 17% of those reporting they possessed a firearm say they obtained the weapon legally.
“This points to the ease with which American teenagers and young adults can get access to weapons, and in fact do,” says Dr. Robert Sege, director of the Division of Family and Child Advocacy at Boston University School of Medicine.
“Also I think it points to something that I think we’ve known for a while, that a lot of the firearms injuries happen among a group of kids who fight a lot. And I think that this paper helps make that link.”
Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education