Prevalence and Correlates of Firearm Ownership in the Homes of Fifth Graders: Birmingham, AL, Houston, TX, and Los Angeles, CA

Academic Article


  • Firearms in the home are associated with increased injury risk, especially when loaded and unlocked. In this study, 5,010 fifth-graders and their caregivers in three U.S. metropolitan areas participated in the 2004-2006 Healthy Passages study on adolescent health. Firearm ownership and storage patterns were examined by four self-reported sociodemographic characteristics (child's race/ethnicity, child's gender, family socioeconomic status, and study site) and reasons for ownership. Eighteen percent (n = 880) of the families reported firearms in the home. Families with African American and Hispanic children had lower odds of owning firearms than families with non-Hispanic White children. The most common reasons for ownership were protection from crime and hunting. Six percent (n = 56) of the families with firearms stored at least one firearm unlocked, assembled, without a trigger lock, and with unlocked ammunition. Compared with families with non-Hispanic White children, families with African American children engaged in safer storage practices. Results can inform childhood firearm injury prevention activities. © 2014 Society for Public Health Education.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Schwebel DC; Lewis T; Simon TR; Elliott MN; Toomey SL; Tortolero SR; Cuccaro PM; Schuster MA
  • Start Page

  • 299
  • End Page

  • 306
  • Volume

  • 41
  • Issue

  • 3