In 2012, more people were seriously hurt by accidental gunshots in Washington state than in any previous year in nearly a generation.
Hospitals here admitted 122 people with “unintentional firearm” injuries that year, the latest for which data is available. Hundreds more were treated in emergency rooms but not admitted. More still were wounded in accidents that were not classified as such.
It was the highest injury tally since 1995 and 30 percent higher than the average over that period, according to a Seattle Times analysis of state Health Department records. The state’s population grew about half that much over that time.
State officials and local law-enforcement authorities say the surge may correspond to a soaring rise in gun ownership.