Storage of household firearms: An examination of the attitudes and beliefs of married women with children

R. M. Johnson, C. W. Runyan, T. Coyne-Beasley, M. A. Lewis, J. M. Bowling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Although safe firearm storage is a promising injury prevention strategy, many parents do not keep their firearms unloaded and locked up. Using the theory of planned behavior as a guiding conceptual framework, this study examines factors associated with safe storage among married women with children and who have firearms in their homes. Data come from a national telephone survey (n = 185). We examined beliefs about defensive firearm use, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and firearm storage practices. A Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test was conducted to assess associations between psychosocial factors and firearm storage practices. Women were highly motivated to keep firearms stored safely. Those reporting safe storage practices had more favorable attitudes, more supportive subjective norms and higher perceptions of behavioral control than those without safe storage. One-fourth believed a firearm would prevent a family member from being hurt in case of a break-in, 58% believed a firearm could scare off a burglar. Some 63% said they leave decisions about firearm storage to their husbands. Women were highly motivated to store firearms safely as evidenced by favorable attitudes, supportive subjective norms and high perceptions of behavioral control. This was especially true for those reporting safer storage practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-602
Number of pages11
JournalHealth education research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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