Firearm Injuries

“Unintentional” is the description used in public health for an injury or death that was not caused purposely (in contrast with suicide and homicide, in which there is an intent to cause harm). Unintentional injuries and deaths are often called “accidents” which can imply that nothing could be done to stop them from happening. Accidents have identified risk and protective factors making them preventable. We must reduce unintentional gun deaths and injuries by, educating people about the risk that guns pose in the home, training on proper firearm use, avoiding alcohol and drug use with handling a firearm, and advocating for safer storage.

Our approach to firearm unintentional injuries and deaths is centered on the idea of prevention.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the UNI CrisisLine at 801-587-3000.

The 5 Rs of firearm safety


  • Acknowledge the opinions and beliefs around firearm ownership differ and respect alternative points of view.
  • Regardless of differences, firearm safety and injury prevention should be common goals.


  • Support your view through your vote and voice, allow others to do the same.


  • Know your firearm
  • How to handle, load/unload, clear a jam, and clean and maintain it.
  • Its safety features, they are not foolproof.
  • Your target and its surroundings.
  • Understand who vulnerable individuals are
    • Children
    • Self
    • Veterans
    • Others:
      • Young males
      • Emotionally distressed
      • Experiencing suicidal ideation
      • Struggling with substance use disorders


  • Inherent risks
  • Designed and manufactured for a specific purpose:
    • Sport
    • Hunting
    • Self-defence
  • Yourself
    • Serious injury/disfigurement
    • Possible civil or criminal liability if improperly used
    • Survivor guilt
    • Death
  • Others
    • Serious injury/disfigurement
    • Death