Gun Violence: 1 in 5 American Adults Report Family Member Killed by Guns, Study Finds

A new study reveals that nearly one in five American adults say they have lost a family member due to gun violence, and roughly 21% said they have been threatened with a gun personally.

Survey questions of the gun violence study by KFF. (Photo: KFF/CREATED WITH DATA WRAPPER)

Daily Fear of Gun Violence, Study Highlights

According to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly one in five American adults report they have lost a family member because of gun violence and this includes suicides using a gun, CBS News reported.

The study also reveals that 21% of Americans have been threatened with a gun.

The study results show more than one-third of Black adults, 17% of White adults, and 18% of Hispanic adults said they had a family member who was killed by a gun:

According to the study, 3 in 10 Black adults and one in five Hispanic adults who participated said they had personally witnessed gun violence and saw someone being shot. 

Black adults said they are feeling unsafe in their neighborhoods. KFF announced in a statement the results of the study saying that 41% of adults overall say they feel either ‘very’  or somewhat safe from gun violence, 13% said they feel ‘not too safe’, and 5% said they feel not safe at all.

The study reveals that 17% of Black adults said they don’t feel at all safe in their neighborhoods, which is far greater than the 2% of White and 9% of Hispanic adults.

Dr. Céline Gounder, a CBS News medical contributor and editor-at-large for public health at KFF said that Black adults are more worried than White adults about their children being involved in gun violence.

The study revealed that 32 % of Black adults, 33% of Hispanic adults, and 10% of White adults said they are worrying daily or almost daily that one of their family members might become a victim of gun violence.

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Alarming Lack of Gun Safety Causes Gun Violence

The study results reveal that 41% of all adults reported they are living in a household with guns.  75% of the respondents said the guns were not stored properly without gun-safety practices. Specifically, KFF showed the following percentage:

  • 52% say that a gun in their home is stored in the same location as ammunition
  • 44% say that a gun is kept in an unlocked location
  • 36% say that a gun is stored loaded

Gounder said that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends storing guns safely because kids might play with them out of curiosity. Other medical and public health groups also recommend the same. Gun death and gun violence have become the leading cause of death among kids and teens.

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