Much of the debate has focused on gun regulation and keeping deadly weapons out of the hands of potential killers, particularly people with mental illness. Unfortunately, much less attention has been paid to the impact of gun violence on victims. While people killed and injured in atrocities such as the Sandy Hook and Aurora Theater shootings are publicly commemorated and mourned, the victims of these tragedies are not limited to the men, women and children who were killed, Firearms training injured or present during these horrific events. The consequences of armed violence are more widespread, affecting entire communities, families and children. With more than 25% of children who have witnessed an act of violence in their homes, schools or community in the past year, and more than 5% witness a shooting, it becomes not only a matter of gun regulation, but also addressing the impact on those traumatized by such violence (Finkelhor et al., 2009).
Religious figures of all religions teach children and young people about loving themselves, others and their communities, and about how to be morally centered people. Social workers educate parents about positive parenting to reduce exposure to domestic violence and other traumas at home. Lobbyists and politicians are fighting for legislation that increases access to mental health care and restricts public access to guns. Historically, almost all states prohibited or restricted the carrying of hidden and loaded weapons in public places. In the late 20th century, some states began granting discretionary power to law enforcement to issue permits (often “CCWs” or permits to carry a concealed weapon) to individuals who passed a background check and received firearm safety training and/or demonstrated a particular need to carry hidden and loaded weapons in public.
When people are afraid of gun violence, it can also negatively impact people’s right to education or health care when they are too afraid to attend schools or health centers or if these services are not fully functioning due to gun violence in their community. Delaware also requires training to include live-fire shooting practice in a range, including spending a minimum of 100 rounds of ammunition and identifying ways to develop and maintain firearm shooting skills. Finally, Rhode Island requires applicants to obtain certification that they are qualified to use a gun of a caliber equal to or larger than the gun they wish to carry.
Wearing without a license deprives the police of this authority and forces them to allow people with violent criminal records to carry hidden weapons throughout the state. The survey asked about the details of the training, including whether it contained information about safe driving, safe storage and preventing gun accidents, theft and suicide. He also asked about the types of gun owners they had, political views, veteran status and the presence of children in the home. Many of the interviewees acknowledged that their weapons were loaded or stored in the same place as the ammunition, and some said their weapons were accessible to children.
Unlicensed wearing legislation strips states of essential standards for background checks, permits and training for carrying concealed weapons in public. It’s part of the gun lobby’s broader agenda to weaken critical gun safety laws, allowing for more guns everywhere, which in turn has led to an increase in gun violence. Most Americans support concealed carrying licensing systems that provide firearm safety training and ensure that only responsible gun owners can carry concealed weapons in public. While standards and processes vary, these states often require applicants to pass a criminal background check, complete safety training, complete live-fire shooting drills, and be residents of the state. Many of these states also give law enforcement the authority to deny permits to people who pose a danger to the public.
Gunshot wounds are often life-changing and have an indelible impact on the long-term mental and physical health of victims. Some need lifelong permanent care, and many others lose their ability to work, especially in physically demanding jobs. However, programs that provide adequate long-term care, rehabilitation and retraining are virtually nonexistent.
Without proper education, parents, teachers, and other well-meaning figures can unknowingly exacerbate a child’s or young person’s mental health problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics has long recommended that doctors discuss the safety of guns with parents, but few actually do, citing lack of time and fear of offending patients. Recent laws in Florida and other states that seek to curb doctors’ ability to advise patients on firearms have added an additional layer of complexity. Proponents of those laws argue that doctors have no training in firearms and therefore are not qualified to talk about them.
This evidence of the relationship between participation in self-reported training and firearm storage behavior contrasts with the results of studies of gun owners’ beliefs about how firearm safety training affects their behavior and practices (Crifasi et al., 2018a). A 2016 survey of a national sample of gun owners found that 35 percent of respondents believed their storage practices were affected by weapons security training; the only factor that supported more was the care for the local defense. Respondents who reported that gun safety training affected their storage behavior reported significantly more safe storage behaviors, although this does not provide good evidence that training causes safer storage. In general, the effect of gun safety training on firearm practices is likely to vary depending on the components of the training, the method of training delivery, the reasons why a person owns a gun, and other contextual factors in the home.
The seven strongest hidden transportation permit systems require applicants to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons to demonstrate a good reason why the applicant needs a permit. In addition, ten states also require the applicant to be of good conduct before a permit is issued. In about half of the states, CCW applicants must also demonstrate a certain level of knowledge about firearm use and/or firearm safety.