Nearly half of Kentuckians keep guns in their home, and 9 percent keep a gun loaded and unlocked

Forty-five percent of Kentucky adults keep a gun or other firearm in their home, and one-fifth of those (9 percent of the population) keep them loaded but unlocked, the 2011 Kentucky Health Issues Poll has found. Children are present in almost half of homes that have firearms.

“Whether or not you keep guns in your home, if you have children, this should be a reminder to talk to them about gun safety,” said Susan Zepeda, CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which released the poll results. In 2008, 576 Kentuckians died from injury by firearms, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranking the state 16th in firearm deaths that year.

The poll found that men, people with higher incomes and people who live in the Appalachian part of the state are more likely to keep firearms around the home. People who live in large urban areas had fewer of the weapons — 39 percent in the Lexington area, 37 percent in Northern Kentucky and 32 in the Louisville area, compared to 57 percent in Eastern Kentucky.

The poll was funded by The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, as well as the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. A random sample of more than 1,600 Kentuckians responded to the survey, which was conducted Sept. 27 to Oct. 27, 2011 by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of adults across Kentucky were interviewed, including 1,313 landline interviews and 308 cell-phone interviews. (Read more)

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