Firearm ownership and storage practices among United States firefighters and emergency medical services personnel. Academic Article uri icon


  • Compared with the general U.S. population, firefighters (FF) and emergency medical services (EMS) workers (FF + EMS personnel) are at increased risk for firearm suicide. Although secure firearm storage is associated with reduced risk of firearm suicide, no study has examined the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of firearm ownership and storage practices among U.S. FF + EMS personnel. A total of 141 U.S. FF + EMS personnel completed a structured, web-based self-report questionnaire. Overall, 76.6% (n = 108) of FF + EMS personnel in our sample reported owning a personal firearm, among whom 85.2% (n = 92) reported owning more than one firearm. Among firearm owners, 42.6% (n = 46) reported secure firearm storage (i.e., unloaded and locked) and 57.4% (n = 62) reported nonsecure firearm storage (i.e., loaded and/or unlocked). FF + EMS personnel who cited personal safety as the only reason for firearm ownership, as opposed to reporting other or multiple reasons for ownership (e.g., hunting), were at increased odds of reporting nonsecure storage practices (69.4% vs. 47.5%; OR = 2.51, 95% CI [1.14, 5.55], p = .023). Most FF + EMS personnel in our sample reported firearm ownership, and approximately half of the firearm owners reported nonsecure firearm storage practices. Promoting secure firearm storage practices among FF + EMS personnel might decrease risk of firearm suicide and other forms of firearm-related injuries. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

published proceedings

  • Psychol Serv

altmetric score

  • 2.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Stanley, I. H., Lebeaut, A., Betz, M. E., Wright, A., & Vujanovic, A. A.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Stanley, Ian H||Lebeaut, Antoine||Betz, Marian E||Wright, Angela||Vujanovic, Anka A

publication date

  • June 2023