When gun enthusiasts gather for the National Rifle Association’s annual conventions, rates of gun-related injuries and deaths drop by 20 percent nationwide—and a whopping 63 percent in the hosting state—according to an analysis published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The finding was based on an analysis of insurance data on gun injury rates during NRA conventions from 2007 through 2015, as well as rates three weeks before and three weeks after each of the conventions.
The researchers behind the work—health policy expert Anupam Jena, MD, PhD of Harvard Medical School and economist Andrew Olenski of Columbia University—also looked at crime rates during those times.
They also noted that the largest drops in firearm-related injuries during NRA conventions were in men, the southern and western areas of the country, and in states with the highest levels of gun ownership.
That is, that gun accidents happen primarily in the hands of inexperienced users and that practice and training—promoted by the NRA—can greatly reduce or eliminate safety concerns and accidents, which affect thousands each year.
In 2014, for example, there were 461 unintentional firearm deaths and 15,928 unintentional, non-fatal injuries, 1,960 of which involved youths.