Poll: Of Kentucky homes with both kids and firearms, 12% keep guns loaded and unlocked

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 28, 2017) Nearly 60 percent of Kentucky homes with kids have firearms, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP), released today. Despite expert advice that guns in homes with children should be kept unloaded and securely locked away in a location separate from the bullets, 12 percent of homes with guns reported keeping guns loaded and unlocked.

The report found that 55 percent of all Kentucky adults keep guns at home. Thirty percent say the firearm is unloaded, 10 percent say it’s loaded and locked, and 15 percent say it’s loaded and unlocked.

KHIP is an annual poll of Kentucky adults about health issues and is funded jointly by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health.

In 2015, 694 Kentuckians and nearly 1,500 children in America died from a firearm injury. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends not keeping a firearm in a home with a child. If there is a firearm in the home, AAP recommends the firearm be unloaded and securely locked in storage away from the ammunition.

“Gun safety is a public health issue,” said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “Whether it’s a toddler who stumbles across a loaded gun or a teenager showing off to a friend, accidents happen every day. We can prevent these tragedies by keeping guns and bullets in separate, secure places.”

The poll also found that men, higher-income adults, and those living in non-urban counties were more likely to have firearms in or around the home.

A copy of the poll is available here.