The New York Times
A New York Times review of hundreds of child firearm deaths found that accidental shootings occurred roughly twice as often as the records indicate, because of idiosyncrasies in how such deaths are classified by the authorities. The killings of Lucas, Cassie and Alex, for instance, were not recorded as accidents. Nor were more than half of the 259 accidental firearm deaths of children under age 15 identified by The Times in eight states where records were available.
As a result, scores of accidental killings are not reflected in the official statistics that have framed the debate over how to protect children from guns.
The National Rifle Association cited the lower official numbers this year in a fact sheet opposing “safe storage” laws, saying children were more likely to be killed by falls, poisoning or environmental factors — an incorrect assertion if the actual number of accidental firearm deaths is significantly higher.
In all, fewer than 20 states have enacted laws to hold adults criminally liable if they fail to store guns safely, enabling children to access them.