Firearm-related behaviors following firearm injury: changes in ownership, carrying and storage

J Behav Med. 2019 Aug;42(4):658-673. doi: 10.1007/s10865-019-00052-1. Epub 2019 Aug 1.


Individuals who sustain nonfatal gunshot wound (GSW) injuries are at substantially increased risk of subsequent firearm injury. There is a dearth of literature examining what, if any, firearm-related behavior changes occur among adults as a result of GSW injuries. Using survey data on firearm-related behaviors from an ongoing randomized controlled trial, we sought to describe changes in reported firearm-related behaviors among GSW patients following their injury. Our results suggest that patients with a GSW, especially firearm owners, may change their firearm-related behaviors following injury, some by increasing firearm-related safety and others by increasing frequency of behaviors that may place them at increased risk of subsequent injury. This study highlights the need for further examination of firearm-related behavior change among GSW patients and development of interventions to promote firearm safety among this population.

Keywords: Behavior change; Firearm carrying; Firearm ownership; Firearm storage; Gunshot wound.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Firearms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ownership / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Safety
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wounds, Gunshot / prevention & control
  • Wounds, Gunshot / psychology*
  • Young Adult