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More stats and facts

Do Guns Hurt Kids in Vermont?

Yes.  One hundred and one Vermont kids were killed by guns from 1987 to 2006, and many more were injuried by guns.

Firearm related death in children has become a public health problem in the US and in Vermont.  Here are some sobering statistics, facts, and reported headlines in Vermont.  (For more data visit the Resources page)

Firearm related suicide death:

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for Vermont youth ages 15-24.  Suicide death in youth is more than the total health related death combined (Centers for Disease Control).

  • During a 20-year period (1987-2006), firearms were the main method used for suicide by 66% youth suicide victims aged 19 and under, higher than the national average of only 58% (CDC WISQARS).

  • During the same period, Vermont’s youth firearm suicide rate is the highest of all states in the Northeast (including six New England states, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) (see chart).  During these years there were 69 youth firearm suicides in Vermont.

  • A review of 173 youth suicides by firearms in Vermont from 1970-1995 found that 69% of such suicides occurred at the victim’s home (Nelson et al, Ambulatory Child Health, 1997).

  • Firearms used in youth suicide usually belong to a parent. The risk of suicide increases in homes where guns are kept loaded or unlocked.

Firearm related unintentional death:

  • From 1987 to 2006 (a 20-year period), Vermont’s firearm unintentional death rate, among those aged 19 and under, is the highest of all states in the Northeast (see chart) (CDC WISQARS).  

  • From 2001 t0 2006 (a 5-year period), Vermont's firearm unintentional rate , among those aged 18 and under, is over three times that of any other New England state and is also above the national average (see chart) (CDC WISQARS).

A survey of recent firearm related incidents:

  • Feb. 2010, Upper Graniteville, 14-year-old boy accidentally shot his brother.

  • Feb. 2010, Georgia, 15-year-old boy fired multiple shots into his neighbor’s home, narrowly missed a baby in crib.

  • April 2009, Richmond, teen arrested for pointing a handgun at other cars while driving on I-89.

  • Feb. 2009, Harwood Union high school student brought a loaded handgun to school.  Police confiscated two more handguns during investigation.

  • Nov. 2008, Bellows Falls, 16-year-old accidentally shot and killed himself.

  • Aug. 2008, Wells, 14-year-old boy shot and killed his mother.

  • June 2008, Brattleboro, 17-year-old boy pulled a handgun from his car and threatened to shoot another boy.

  • Dec. 2007, Burlington, 16-year-old boy stole his father’s handgun and shot his girlfriend in the head.

  • May 2007, Chittenden County, 16-year-old boy shot and killed his father.

  • Jan. 2007, Sutton, 15-year-old boy shot and killed 24-year-old man.
    Nov. 2006, Highgate, 15-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his friend.

  • April 2004, Brookfield, 14-year-old boy accidentally shot his twin brother.

  • July 2003, Dummerson, 14-year-old boy shot by friends playing with pistol.