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U.S. Surpasses 2022 Total Unintentional Shootings By Children


Every Year, at least 350 Children In America Gain Access To A Firearm And Unintentionally Shoot Themselves Or Someone Else, Averaging Roughly One Per Day

NEW YORK For thousands of communities across America, the end of the year can be a time for family gatherings and kids being home from school. But, tragically, the end of the year can also be plagued by senseless acts of gun violence, including far too many unintentional shootings by children. And this year is no exception. With terrifying regularity, children and teens in the U.S. gain access to unsecured firearms and shoot themselves or someone else. Over the course of this year, the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has tracked at least 370 unintentional shootings by children, resulting in 143 deaths and 242 injuries nationally. An average of more than one per day, the U.S. has now surpassed the number of unintentional shootings by children in 2022 with another few weeks left before the year ends.  

Some of the recent unintentional shootings by children and teens include:

  • In Hampton, Virginia, a two-year-old unintentionally shot and killed herself;
  • In Detroit, Michigan, a five-year-old unintentionally shot and killed himself after a gun was left on a dresser;
  • In Albuquerque, New Mexico, a 16-year-old was unintentionally shot and killed while playing with a gun in a car with another 16-year-old;
  • In Santa Clarita, California, a 12-year-old boy was unintentionally shot and killed while handling a gun with another juvenile; 
  • In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a two-year-old and a three-year-old were both unintentionally shot and wounded after finding a gun in the backyard of a home;
  • In Aurora, Colorado, a 13-year-old unintentionally shot and killed a teenage girl. 

“The holidays should be a time full of excitement and warmth, not grief and trauma,” said Dr. Annie Andrews, pediatrician and senior advisor at Everytown for Gun Safety. “As America reaches this tragic milestone, and as so many kids search for presents underneath beds and in closets over the next few weeks, it’s critical that all adults take the simple step of securely storing their guns to prevent more of these horrible tragedies from taking place.”

Research shows the most effective way to prevent an unintentional shooting is to make sure firearms are stored as securely as possible. That means unloaded, locked by a cable lock or in a gun safe, and separate from ammunition. Firearms are not stored securely when they’re placed in an unlocked dresser or nightstand drawer, under a couch cushion, mattress, or pillow, in an unlocked closet, on a high shelf or on top of the refrigerator. 

Be SMART, a program of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, helps parents and other adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries, youth suicide, and gunfire on school grounds. 

The program encourages parents and adults to: 

  • Secure all guns in their home and vehicles
  • Model responsible behavior around guns
  • Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes
  • Recognize the role of guns in suicide
  • Tell your peers to be SMART

All across the country, volunteers, community partners, law enforcement officials, trusted experts in caregiving, gun owners and non-gun owners alike are coming together in a push to advocate for secure gun storage. For more information on secure firearm storage and the most effective ways to protect children from unsecured firearms, visit Additional information about unintentional shootings by children can be found here and here.