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1. Firearm injuries have a significant public health impact both nationally and locally.
a. In the United States, firearm injuries accounted for 6.6 percent of premature deaths from 1999-2007. Shootings are a leading cause of injury deaths in the nation, second only to motor vehicle crashes. On average, there were 30,125 firearm deaths in the United States annually between 2000 and 2007, inclusive. In 2007, 31,224 Americans died in firearm-related homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings – the equivalent of 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour.
b. Nationally, more than two thirds of homicides and over half of all suicides are committed with firearms.
c. Unintentional shootings killed over 5,700 people in the U.S. between 2000 and 2007. In 2009, over 18,000 people were treated for unintentional gunshot wounds in the United States.
d. The firearm-related homicide, suicide, and unintentional death rates for children 5-14 years old in the United States are significantly higher than those other industrialized nations.
e. Over the last five years, firearm injuries have ranked third of all causes of injury death in San Francisco, after pedestrian fatalities and falls, respectively. Almost two thirds of these firearm deaths were homicides. In addition, gunshot wounds were the third most common reason for injury-related hospitalizations in San Francisco from 2005 to 2008 and fourth in 2009. Firearm-related suicides accounted for 16.2 percent of the suicide deaths in San Francisco in Fiscal Year 2009-2010.
f. San Francisco General Hospital, as the only trauma center in San Francisco, treats approximately 98 percent of the city's shooting victims annually. Approximately 80 percent of the individuals treated for violent injuries at San Francisco General Hospital are uninsured.
2. Having a loaded or unlocked gun in the home is associated with an increased risk of gun-related injury and death.
a. A firearm stored loaded or unlocked increases the risk of an accidental shooting.
b. All U.S. case control studies (12 to date) have found that people who die by suicide are more likely to have lived in a home with a gun than similar people who did not die by suicide. Studies have also shown that the risk of suicide increases in homes where guns are kept loaded or unlocked.
c. A 2007 study compared the 40 million people who live in the states with the lowest firearm prevalence (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New York) to about the same number living in the states with the highest firearm prevalence (Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, West Virginia, Montana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Iowa, North Dakota, Alabama, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Utah). Although non-firearm suicides were about equal in the two groups, total suicides were almost twice as high in the high-gun states.
d. Keeping unsecured guns in the home increases the flow of illegal guns into the community. More than half a million firearms are stolen each year in the United States and many are subsequently sold illegally.
3. Children are particularly at risk of injury and death, or causing injury and death, when they can access guns in their own homes or homes that they visit.
a. The authors of a 2005 study found that an estimated 1.69 million children age 18 and under are living in households with loaded and unlocked firearms. Many young children, including children as young as three years old, are strong enough to fire handguns.
b. A significant majority of the guns used in youth suicide attempts and unintentional injuries were stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend. Of youths under who died by firearm suicide, the vast majority used a family member's gun, usually a parent's. And more than two thirds of school shooters obtained their gun(s) from their own home or that of a relative.
c. Quick access to loaded firearms heightens the risk that a young person's impulsive decision to commit suicide will be carried out without reflection or seeking help, and that the impulsive attempt will be fatal. One third of youths who died by suicide had faced a crisis within the previous 24 hours. Among people who nearly died in a suicide attempt, almost a quarter indicated that fewer than five minutes had passed between deciding on suicide and making the attempt. While fewer than 10 percent of suicide attempts by other means are fatal, at least 85 percent of firearm suicide attempts end in death.
4. Guns kept in the home are most often used in suicides and against family and friends rather than in self-defense.
a. Guns kept in a home are more likely to be involved in an unintentional shooting, criminal assault, or suicide attempt than to kill or injure in self-defense.
b. Only one in ten firearm homicides in the shooter's home is considered justifiable, meaning the shooter was not the assailant. Of every ten firearm homicide victims killed at the shooter's residence, six were intimate partners or family members of the shooter, three were friends or acquaintances of the shooter, and only one was a stranger to the shooter.
5. Applying trigger locks or using lock boxes when storing firearms in the home reduces the risk of firearm injury and death.
a. Keeping a firearm locked when it is not being carried ensures that it cannot be accessed and used by others without the owner's knowledge or permission. This simple measure significantly decreases the risk that the gun will be used to commit suicide, homicide, or inflict injury, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
b. Safe storage measures have a demonstrated protective effect in homes with children and teenagers where guns are stored.
6. There is a wide consensus among medical professionals, police chiefs, gun control advocates and gun rights groups that applying trigger locks or using lock boxes to store unsupervised guns in the home promotes health and safety.
a. The International Association of Chiefs of Police recommends that state and local governments mandate safe storage of firearms.
b. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that if families must have firearms in their homes, the firearms should be stored locked, unloaded, and separate from locked ammunition.
c. Both gun control and gun rights advocates endorse the use of locking devices when storing guns to ensure that unauthorized or untrained persons cannot use the gun to inflict injury or death. For example, the National Rifle Association's Home Firearm Safety Handbook, developed and used as part of the National Rifle Association (NRA) Basic Firearm Training Program, emphasizes that "there is one general rule that must be applied under all conditions: Store guns so they are not accessible to untrained or unauthorized persons." The NRA Guide To The Basics Of Personal Protection In The Home further explains that "all storage methods designed to prevent unauthorized access utilize some sort locking method."
7. Requiring unsupervised firearms stored to be secured with trigger locks or in a locked container does not substantially burden the right or ability to use firearms for self-defense in the home.
a. The locking requirements apply only to handguns that are not being carried. Gun owners and adults over 18 may carry loaded and unlocked handguns in the home at any time. The safe storage requirements also permit owners who wish to do so to store their handguns fully loaded.
b. Gun security does not preclude quick access. For example, affordable lockboxes using Simplex-type locks, which pop open immediately when several keys or pushbuttons are touched in a preset sequence, are widely available. Users report that they can retrieve a loaded weapon in just two to three seconds, and that the locks are also easy to open in the dark. The NRA describes this type lockbox as providing "a good combination of security and quick access." Some lockboxes also feature biometric locks, which provide immediate access when they scan the owner's fingerprint.
c. Portable lockboxes can store loaded weapons such that they are always within easy reach on counters, tables or nightstands. Such safely stored weapons are more quickly and easily retrieved for use in self-defense than unlocked guns that have been hidden away in seldom-used locations.
(Added by Ord. 206-11 , File No. 110901, App. 10/11/2011, Eff. 11/10/2011)