"This latest release from the National Safety Council shows that the vast majority of the 100 million American firearms owners meet the serious responsibilities which come with firearms ownership," said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. "They store their firearms safely and securely when not in use, and follow the basic rules of firearms safety when handling them."
"The many firearms safety educational programs sponsored by the firearms industry and firearms safety instructors nationwide, such as the NSSF's Project ChildSafe, are also part of the reason for this ever-downward trend in firearms accidents," Sanetti added. "We will continue to work with organizations interested in genuine firearms safety to help reduce the number of firearms accidents even further in the days and years ahead."
This decline to 489 unintentional firearms-related fatalities is the lowest total since record-keeping began in 1903, and accounts for less than 1 percent (three-tenths of 1 percent) of the 146,571 accident deaths from all listed causes, which were up 8 percent from 2014 to 2015. This decrease, which was the largest percentage decline of any category, came in a year that saw record high firearms sales to many millions of Americans.