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When Older Americans With Depression and Dementia Have Access to Firearms

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A new study finds that more than one-fifth of seniors living with depression in a gun-owning household stores their firearms unlocked and loaded.

When it comes to gun violence in America, one solution politicians and citizens often talk about is better mental health screenings. But a new study suggests there’s little being done to mitigate the risks of gun ownership and unsafe gun storage among older Americans who have guns at home and might be especially prone to hurting themselves or others.

The study asked folks over 65 about whether they had firearms in their home, how they stored them, and whether they had certain mental health symptoms such as depression, confusion, memory loss, and frequent mental distress. It found similar rates of these risk factors for suicide and harming others among households with and without firearms. It also found that rates of how those firearms are stored, whether locked and unloaded or unlocked and loaded, were similar among gun-owning and non-gun-owning households. For example, 16 percent of seniors living in homes with guns had a depression diagnosis, while about 18 percent of seniors living in homes without a gun had been diagnosed with depression. More than one in five seniors living with depression in a gun-owning household stored all of their firearms unlocked and loaded. Sixty-two percent of the households in the survey had guns. The data came from Washington State, the only state to collect such information.



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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !