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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995 Dec;149(12):1318-22.

Children's and women's ability to fire handguns. The Pediatric Practice Research Group.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Children's Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate whether strength differences between children and women might keep children from firing handguns and to determine how many young children can fire available handguns.

DESIGN:

One- and two-index finger trigger-pull strength was tested using a standard protocol. Data on trigger-pull settings of 64 commercially available handguns were obtained.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

Convenience sample of well children and their mothers at four Chicago (Ill)-area pediatric practices for health supervision visits, and of siblings of emergency department patients, during an 8-week period.

INTERVENTION:

None.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

One- and two-index finger trigger-pull strength of mothers and children.

RESULTS:

Twenty-five percent of 3- to 4-year-olds, 70% of 5- to 6-year-olds, and 90% of 7- to 8-year-olds have a two-finger trigger-pull strength of at least 10 lb, the fifth percentile one-finger trigger-pull strength of adult women. Forty (62.5%) of 64 handguns require trigger-pull strength of less than 5 lb; 19 (30%) of 64 require 5 to 10 lb.

CONCLUSIONS:

Significant overlap exists in the trigger-pull strength of young children and women, limiting the potential use of increased trigger-pull settings to discourage firearm discharge by children. Young children are strong enough to fire many handguns now in circulation.

PMID:
7489067
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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