“Personal Firearms: Programs that Promote Safe Storage and Research on Their Effectiveness,” a report to congressional requesters from the United States Government Accountability Office released today, cites multiple studies from Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.
Work by HIPRC violence prevention section lead Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, core member Fred Rivara, M.D., MPH, and former associate member Joseph Simonetti, M.D., MPH, is cited in the report’s examination into programs and research about safe storage practices in the United States.
The report also notes comments from officials discussing the challenges of conducting firearm and gun violence research in light of current federal funding restrictions and instability around this topic.
“Nevertheless, NIH officials stated that funding instability has limited firearm research throughout the research community,” the report states. “Officials at DOJ cited a similar perspective, noting that, as the primary agency supporting this type of research, DOJ has had difficulty funding a consistent body of work in this field. Further, they said that there are a small number of individuals who have sufficient expertise.”
At a press conference announcing the report’s release, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said she hopes the report will not only help improve understanding of safe storage of guns in the home, but also highlight the need for more research into firearm violence. Data from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control shows that more than 30,000 people in the U.S. die from firearms each year.
“Compared to other leading causes of death and injury, there is much more we need to learn about gun violence, including how to better promote safe storage,” she said. “I’m very hopeful that every senator will take a close look at these findings in this nonpartisan report and join us in pushing for stronger investments in gun violence research.”
She noted that both children and individuals at risk of suicide are likely to benefit from improved understanding of safe storage practices and impacts.
Research into safe storage practices, firearms and violence prevention are ongoing at HIPRC.
Cited HIPRC Studies:
Rowhani-Rahbar, A., J. A. Simonetti, and F. P. Rivara, “Effectiveness of Interventions to Promote Safe Firearm Storage,” Epidemiologic Reviews, vol. 38 (2016).
Simonetti, J. A., et al., “Evaluation of a community-based safe firearm and ammunition storage intervention.” Injury Prevention, June 22 2017.
Among other things, HIPRC researches and performs community outreach surrounding safe usage and storage of firearms. We do not have a position on or advocate policies surrounding gun ownership.