Gun Violence Prevention
Gun related deaths attributed to suicide and homicide in Montgomery County is detailed in the chart above. Between 2017 and 2018, white males accounted for over 75% of all gun related deaths. Over 75% of gun related deaths were classified as a suicide with an average age of 48.2 years and 54.6 years respectively. Data provided by Montgomery County Coroner’s office.
A Public Health Approach to Gun Violence
The Montgomery County Health Department supports the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) statement below on Gun Violence:
"Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S. Guns kill almost 30,000 people and cause 60,000 injuries each year. As a longtime advocate for violence prevention policies, APHA recognizes a comprehensive public health approach to addressing this growing crisis is necessary.
The issue of gun violence is complex and deeply rooted in our culture, which is why we must take a public health approach to ensuring our families and communities are safe. We must place a renewed emphasis on improving gun injury and violence research. Ongoing work is needed to ensure firearms do not fall into the wrong hands and to expand access to mental health services to those who need it most."
Burden of Gun Violence
- Gun violence affects people of all ages and races in the U.S. but has a disproportionate impact on young adults, males and racial/ethnic minorities.
- Guns are a weapon of choice for mass homicides and suicide.
- Gun violence cost the U.S. $229 billion, or an average of $700 per gun in America.
- Always point the gun in a safe direction, so if it was accidentally discharged it would not cause any harm.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Rest your finger on the outside of the gun.
- Unload firearms when they are not in use.
- Know how the firearm works – read the manual, know how to load and unload ammunition safely.
- Lock your guns away to make sure they cannot be handled by anyone else without your permission.
- Store ammunition in a locked area separate from your gun.
- Use a gun locking device, which makes the gun unusable when it is not in use – to be used additionally and not as a substitute for storage.
- Make sure young people are aware of the guns and the safety guidelines to not touch the gun and tell an adult.
- Unload, clean and place firearms in secure storage as soon as they are no longer being used.
- Educate everyone in your family about firearm safety.
What to tell your child if they find a gun
- Stop what you’re doing.
- Do not touch the gun.
- Leave the area of the gun.
- Tell an adult right away.
Keep Children Safe Around Guns
How to Ask if There are Guns Where Your Children are Playing
A Guide to Gun Shop Etiquette
What Gun Dealers Can Do to Prevent Suicide
Suicide Prevention – A Role for Gun Shops and Ranges
Laws and Permitting
Pennsylvania Gun Laws
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Website Provides Information on Gun Permits
Mongtomery County Sheriff's Office
Gun Safety Courses Offered by the NRA
Find a Police Station Near you that Offers a Gun Safety Kit
National Crime Prevention Counsel's “Safe Firearm Storage Campaign”