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University of Michigan launches website of research on firearm safety among children and teens

Someone shooting a gun at a gun range.
Peretz Partensky
Firearm incidents are one of the leading causes of death for children under 19. A new collaborative website aims to help researchers and stakeholders change this trend.

A new website hosted by the University of Michigan brings together research from across the country on firearm safety among children.

The site is the product of a research consortium made up of scholars from U of M and 12 other academic institutions called Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens, or FACTS.

University of Michigan Medical School professor Dr. Patrick Carter is part of the team spearheading FACTS. He says the website is a way to bring information that's been collected on firearm safety together into one consolidated space.

Dr. Carter says firearm-related incidents have long been a leading cause of death among people under 19. A recent uptick in firearm injuries among children and teens alerted academics to the need for more research in the field.

“The researchers at the University of Michigan and colleagues across the country recognized that this was a significant issue requiring attention to rebuild the field of research in this area,” he said.

According to Dr. Carter, this project is the result of the largest National Institutes of Health investment in firearm research in the past 20 years.

Carter hopes this database and the larger group behind it will lead to great strides in improving firearm safety.

“Firearm ownership in this country is a legal right, but how can we collaborate with academics as well as stake holder groups and firearm owners to really find a way forward that can safely decrease firearm injuries among children and teens.”

Carter says building up the website is only one of the consortium's goals.

The group also hopes to set a research agenda for the academic community, begin to work on some of those projects, and train future generations of scholars.

Maya Goldman is a newsroom intern for Michigan Radio. She is currently a student at the University of Michigan, where she studies anthropology and writing. During the school year, Maya also works as a senior news editor and podcast producer for The Michigan Daily.
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