Children are more likely to die of firearm-related injuries in states with looser gun laws, according to a study published by The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday.
Firearm injuries are one of the leading causes of death among children in the United States.
More than 21,200 children died of firearm-related injuries between 2011-2015. They died at a higher rate in states with lax gun laws, the study found.
Researchers used findings from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which rates the strength of states’ gun laws on the basis of a series of 33 different gun policies.
The data show that for every 10-point increase in gun law strength score, firearm-related mortality rate in children decreased by 4%.
“Even in states that had high gun ownership, we found that if those states had strong gun laws, there were lower firearm-related deaths for children, compared to states that had weaker gun laws,” said lead researcher Dr. Monika Goyal.
The study specifically cited universal background checks for firearm and ammunition purchases and identification requirements for guns as effective strategies to reducing child gun deaths.
Guns & America is a public media reporting project on the role of guns in American life.