Gun safety is an essential part of reducing injuries related to firearms. Firearms are dangerous and must always be stored and handled with care.

Statistics

  • There were 114 Albertans killed in 2010 due to firearm-related injuries. This includes suicide, violence, and deaths from unintentional and undetermined firearm deaths.
  • Males accounted for 94% of the firearm-related deaths.
  • The majority of deaths were attributed to suicide (81%), while the next leading cause was attributed to violence (19%).
  • Of the 92 firearm-related suicide deaths, 99% were males.
  • In 2010, there were 77 firearm-related hospital admissions, whereby 95% of these admissions were male.
  • Violence-related firearm injuries accounted for 40% of the hospitalizations followed closely by unintentional firearm-related injuries, accounting for 33% of firearm-related admissions.
  • There were 281 firearm-related emergency department visits in Alberta in 2010. Males accounted for 90% of these firearms-related visits.
  • Unintentional firearm-related emergency department visits accounted for 67% (187) of the total firearm visits in 2010. Another 16%, or 45 visits, were intentional, violence-related firearm injuries.

Prevention Messages

  • Know the laws for storing and transporting guns. Call 1-800-731-4000 (Canada Firearms Centre) to find out what the rules are for your gun.
    • Always store guns with ammunition removed.
    • To store the gun safely, either attach a trigger lock, cable lock or remove the bolt. Another option is to put the gun in a locked container, cabinet or room that smeone can’t break into easily.
    • If you store your gun in a locked cabinet, container or room, then you can keep the bullets or shells locked up in the same place as your gun. Do not store live ammunition in the same place as a live firearm.
  • When handling a firearm always follow the four ACTS of firearm safety:
    • Assume every firearm is loaded.
    • Control the muzzle direction at all times.
    • Trigger finger must be kept off the trigger and out of the trigger guard.
    • See to it that the firearm is unloaded.
  • Children and firearms:
    • Many children will pick up a gun when an adult is not watching.
    • Even if you told your children to stay away from guns they can forget or break the rules.
    • Keep your guns unloaded and locked up when they are not in use. It is the law. Do not take chances – even if you think your child knows better.

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