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New Report Highlights Alarming Rates of Gun Deaths and Children

By Ed Somers

The Children’s Defense Fund has released a new report which details the latest statistics on child gun deaths, including national trends and state-by-state information.

Among the findings in the report, entitled Children and Guns, are:

  • In 1997, 4,205 children and teens were killed by gunfire – one every two hours, nearly 12 every day

  • 2,562 were murdered by gunfire

  • 1,262 committed suicide using a firearm – more than three every day

  • 306 died from an accidental shooting

  • American children under the age of 15 are 12 times more likely to die from gunfire than children in 25 other industrialized countries combined

  • Of the states studies that have enacted Child Firearm Access Prevention (CAP) laws since 1989, there was a 23 percent drop in accidental shootings of children. Seventeen states have now adopted these laws.

The report also compares every states’ adopted gun laws and compares youth firearm deaths from 1996 to 1997 for each state.

For more information on the report, contact Laura Hessburg with the CDF at (202) 662-3564, or visit CDF’s web site at

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