Demographics and firearms in the home
A total of 1,382 FFA members 13-18 years old completed the survey. See Table 1. The population was roughly equal by sex and about one-third (35%) were 13-15 years old. Over half lived on a farm, almost one-fifth resided in the country but not on a farm, and 29% lived in a town. The vast majority self-identified as Caucasian (96%). Most survey youth had firearms in their home including rifles/shotguns (84%) and handguns (58%).
Witnessed someone threatened with a firearm
Five percent of youth participants reported personally witnessing someone being threatened with a firearm. See Table 2. Of these, 38% (24/64) had seen a friend and 36% (23/64) had seen a family member threatened. Over one-third (23/64, 36%) had seen someone other than family and/or friends threatened, and 11% (7/64) had personally been the target of a threat with a firearm.
In bivariate analysis, those with a handgun in the home had higher percentages having seen someone personally threatened with a firearm as compared to those with no handguns in the home (p=0.005). This relationship was not seen with rifles/shotguns in the home. See Table 2. Logistic regression analysis indicated that non-Caucasian races when grouped were 2.6 times more likely than Caucasians and that respondents with handguns in the home were 3 times more likely than those without to have witnessed the threat of firearm violence. See Table 3.
Know of someone killed or injured by a firearm
Over one-third (36%) of respondents personally knew someone who had been injured or killed by gunfire. See Table 2. Among these respondents, 77% (378/493) knew of at least one person who had died or was injured accidentally (unintentionally) and 30% (148/493) knew of someone who was killed or injured on purpose (e.g. suicide, homicide). Of all study participants, 12% (172/1374) knew of family members, 17% (237/1374) knew of friends and 10% (137/1374) knew of others who had been killed or injured by a firearm. Three had been injured themselves.
A higher percentage of females as compared to males reported personally knowing someone injured or killed by a firearm, p=0.006. Those with a rifle/shotgun (p=0.025) or a handgun (p=0.020) in the home also had higher proportions that personally knew a victim of a firearm injury or death as compared to individuals that did not have firearms in their home.
Logistic regression analysis showed that males and respondents living on farms were 33% and 26% less likely than females and those living in towns, respectively, to know someone who had been injured or killed by gunfire. See Table 3. Those with rifles/shotguns in the home were 1.5 times more likely than those without to have personally known someone killed or injured by a firearm.
Use of firearms for hunting and shooting sports should be kept legal
Nearly three-quarters of Iowa FFA members in the study strongly agreed (74%) and the vast majority (95%) agreed that the right to use firearms for hunting and shooting sports should be kept legal. See Table 4. Males, older teens, Caucasians, individuals with rifles/shotguns and with handguns in the home, hunters, and those that had fired rifles/shotguns or handguns all had significantly higher proportions that agreed with this statement as compared with their peers. Logistic regression analysis found males were 2.3 times more likely than females, those with rifles/shotguns in their home were 1.9 times more likely than those without, and hunters were 3.2 times more likely than non-hunters to agree that use of firearms for hunting and shooting sports should be kept legal.
Safety course should be required for a hunting license
Over 60% strongly agreed and 89% overall agreed that a firearm safety course should be required to get a hunting license. See Table 5. Males, those with a handgun in the home, and those that had fired a rifle/shotgun >20 times all had significantly greater percentages that did not agree with this statement. Males were half as likely as females to agree that a safety course should be mandatory to get a hunting license.
Background check should be required to buy a firearm
Ninety percent agreed with 60% strongly agreeing that there should be a background check required by law before someone can buy a firearm. See Table 6. Hunters and those who had fired a handgun >5 times had significantly lower proportions that agreed with the statement. There were no significant differences in logistic regression results.
Safe firearm storage should be required by law
Over 60% agreed, with one-third strongly agreeing, that there should be laws that require safe storage (locked and unloaded) of firearms in the home. See Table 7. Those with significantly lower proportions agreeing with this statement as compared to their peers included males, older teens, those living on farms and in the country but not on a farm, individuals who reported unsafe storage of rifles/shotguns or of handguns in their home, hunters, and those who had fired rifles/shotguns or handguns >5 times. The lowest percentage (46%) agreeing with safe storage requirements included those who reported unsafe storage of rifles/shotguns or of handguns at least some of the time in their home. In logistic regression analysis, males were 50% less likely than females, those from farms were 30% less likely as those in town, and hunters were 40% less likely than non-hunters to agree that safe firearm storage in the home should be required by law. In addition, adolescents reporting unsafe storage of rifles/shotguns and of handguns in their home were 70% and 30% less likely, respectively, to agree safe firearm storage should be required by law as compared to individuals reporting safe storage.