FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On July 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report outlining statistics and demographic characteristics regarding youths carrying guns.

The report, using data from 2017-19, noted that one in 15 boys and one in 50 girls reported carrying a gun “for nonrecreational purposes” within a 12-month period. The study also found that suicide and homicide are the second and third leading causes of death, respectively, among youths aged 14–17 years.

Gun carrying was “significantly more likely among youths with violence-related experiences,” according to the CDC. It was also more prevalent among those who experienced suicidal ideation or attempts, or substance use.

Specifically, gun carrying among males and females was more prevalent among those who had been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property (25.9% and 11.2%, respectively) than it was among those who had not (5.2% and 1.3%, respectively). 

Other findings from the report include:

  • Gun carrying was significantly more prevalent among males (6.8%) than among females (1.9%)
  • Among males, gun carrying was most common among non-Hispanic Black (Black) students (10.6%), followed by Hispanic (7.2%) and non-Hispanic White (White) (6.1%) students.
  • Among females, gun carrying was more common among Hispanic (3.5%) than among Black (2.0%) and White students (1.1%).

Most students who carried a gun reported carrying one for one to three days (males = 46.8%; females = 69.8%) or more than six days (males = 42.0%; females = 21.6%) during the past 12 months.

These findings suggest that a substantial proportion of high school students, particularly those who have experienced violence, suicidal ideation or attempts, or who engage in substance use, carry guns outside the context of hunting or sport. Some studies have found that counseling and education with provision of safety devices can promote safer firearm storage behaviors in the home and that child access prevention laws are associated with reductions in risk for firearm suicide, unintentional firearm injuries, and gun carrying among children and youths (8–10)

CDC report, July 29

More findings and information from the report are available here.