Data collected by the Florida Department of Health has found that four out of every ten people who are rushed to a Florida hospital with a nonfatal gunshot injury were unintentionally shot. In Orange County, Florida that number jumps to more than half of the people treated for nonfatal gunshot injuries.
In addition to leaving injuries which can be permanent, these gunshot wounds cost more than $57 million. The average unintentional gunshot patient admitted to a hospital in Florida required $85,024 in care. Half of that was borne by government providers such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Orlando police chief blamed the high Orange County numbers on the prevalence of firearms there. "Obviously, if you have a higher rate of firearms in a state or county or city, there's going to be a higher rate of nonfatal gun accidents," he said.
He urged gun owners to be responsible, to know at all times where their weapons are and to properly secure them. He added that his officers are finding and seizing too many stolen guns.
A University of Miami pediatrician commented, "We know how to prevent this. We should be reducing access to loaded firearms."