Every year, hundreds of children in the US gain access to loaded firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else. This is #NotAnAccident.

Tragically, 2023 was the worst year on record for unintentional shootings by children, surpassing 400 incidents for the first time since Everytown started tracking in 2015.

Unintentional Shootings by Children Surged in 2023

To better understand these shootings—and how they can be prevented—Everytown collects information from media reports about incidents in which a child under 18 unintentionally shoots themself or someone else. Details about each incident include the ages of both shooters and victims, date, location, type of firearm, and other information.

Our 2023 report, “Preventable Tragedies: Unintentional Shootings by Children,” provides an analysis of over 2,800 incidents that took place between 2015 and 2022 with a deeper examination of where, when, and how unintentional child shootings occur and the steps we can take to prevent them.

One of the most effective ways to prevent these shootings is to ensure all guns are stored securely in homes, cars, and elsewhere. The gold standard for secure gun storage is to keep all guns unloaded, locked up, and separate from ammunition. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund launched the Be SMART campaign to raise awareness that secure gun storage can save children’s lives.

See a case missing from our tracker? Please let us know. 


We must make sure firearms are stored securely

The Be SMART framework is designed to help parents and adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries. Visit Be SMART for more information on preventing unintentional shootings by children.