Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Motivations for firearm possession and storage practices among urban young adults: differences between parents and non-parents


Objectives To evaluate motivations for firearm possession among urban young adults and determine if differences emerge between parents and non-parents, and to identify if storage practices differed according to motivation for firearm possession and parenting status.

Methods We used cross-sectional data among young adults seeking urban emergency department treatment at Hurley Medical Center between 2017 and 2018. Our analyses, completed in 2020, included 194 firearm-possessing young adults, 95 of whom were young parents.

Results Firearm-possessing parents were more likely to have a firearm for protection, than for any other motivation, compared with firearm-possessing non-parents (OR: 2.38, 95% CI 1.06 to 5.46). A significant interaction between parenting status and motivation for possession indicated the association between protective motivations and locked storage was significantly different between parents and non-parents, whereby there was a decreased odds of locked storage among non-parents who were motivated to possess a firearm for protection compared with any other motivation, but this association did not exist for parents (interaction OR=10.57, p<0.05).

Conclusion Parental motivation for possessing a firearm most often lies in the desire to protect families. This motivation, however, does not necessitate unsafe storage.

  • firearm
  • public health
  • violence
  • cross-sectional study
  • urban

Data availability statement

No data are available. Data are currently unavailable for analysis outside the research team.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.