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US gun deaths among children on the rise, study shows

The people who are most vulnerable to being victims of these attacks are children.

ATLANTA — Homicides have increased a lot since the start of the pandemic across metro Atlanta and the wider United States; according to a study, children are the most vulnerable to being victims of these attacks.

A research letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine used CDC mortality data to find that in 2020, firearms were the leading cause of death in U.S. children, with a 29% increase since 2019.

Co-author of the letter, Jason Goldstick, told NBC News that this is the first time in 40 years firearms have surpassed car crashes as the country’s leading cause of death amongst children and attributes the increase to multiple factors including safety precautions and access.  

He explained that while cars continue to implement safety measures that protect drivers, the exposure and availability where underaged individuals can acquire these firearms has increased.

 A study by the American College of Physicians found that between January 2019 and April 2021, a drastic increase in the purchase of guns resulted in around five million children being newly introduced to firearms within their households.

RELATED: Yes, Atlanta has the 3rd highest homicide rate increase in the country since the pandemic

Over the past few years, Atlanta has also felt the deadly impacts of homicides by firearm.

Earlier this month, a WalletHub study put Atlanta as having the third-largest increase in homicides since the pandemic, but these crimes are not targeting random people. 

This year alone, Atlanta has seen a 47% increase in homicides since last year, and the Atlanta Police Department said in a press conference last week that firearms caused 80% of these homicides. 

Out of those cases, over a dozen of the victims were under 18.

To address the rise in crime, earlier this year, APD launched multiple initiatives to address the issue better; this includes their anti-crime partnership with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and Georgia State Patrol. 

While these programs have helped solve crime in Atlanta, there is still an increased prevalence of homicides across the country. 

To see a weekly breakdown of APD crime data, you can go to their website here and check it out for free. 

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