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Firearm Accidents


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 28,000 people die from firearm injuries each year. The three most common ways people are killed or injured by a firearm are:

  • Homicide
  • Suicide
  • Accidental discharge

Firearm accidents infographic

Unintentional or Accidental Firearm Discharge

People are often injured or killed by a firearm that was discharged accidentally or unintentionally. The main cause of accidental firearm discharges is defective manufacturing. Examples of guns that have not been recalled even though they are defective are: the Excam Derringer, Lorcin pistols, the Remington Model 700 hunting rifle, and the Sturm, Ruger, and Company’s Old Model single action revolver. The continued sale of these defective products makes future incidents of accidental discharge highly probable.

Unintentional firearm discharge can occur when the gun is handled improperly (by a child or other person unschooled in firearm safety, etc.), when a loaded firearm is transported in a vehicle such as a car or truck, or any number of other scenarios.

Other causes of firearm accidents include:

  • Improper maintenance: this can lead to obstruction due to build up of debris in the barrel, which in turn can cause it to rupture when the gun is fired.
  • Shooting at a hard surface: this can cause the bullet or surface fragments to ricochet and injure the gun user or innocent bystanders.
  • Improper ammunition use: this includes using the wrong caliber or size, as well as using reloaded or remanufactured ammunition.
  • Shooting while intoxicated: impaired judgment can lead to improper use of a firearm.

There are also risks associated with firing a gun that do not involve firearm accidents per se. For example, firing a gun in unventilated areas increases the risk of lead exposure, which leads to birth defects and other types of toxic injury.

Consult an Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a firearm accident, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer for more information.

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