Study: Rise in gun sales after Sandy Hook resulted in more accidental gun deaths

Study: Rise in gun sales after Sandy Hook resulted in more accidental gun deaths
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An increase in gun sales following the Sandy Hook shooting led to a surge in accidental gun deaths, according to a new study.
The study, published originally in the journal Science and later reported by The Washington Post, finds that approximately 3 million more guns were sold in the five months after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School than would have normally been purchased.
According to the study, Google searches for buying and cleaning guns also rose in the four months after the shooting.
The study looked into whether the rise in accidental firearm deaths happened at the same time as the "greater exposure to firearms."
"We find that an additional 60 deaths overall, including 20 children, resulted from unintentional shootings in the immediate aftermath of Sandy Hook," the study's abstract says.
The authors of the study "used the random timing of this event and the subsequent increase in gun purchases (as recorded by an increased number of background checks) to show that the increased exposure to guns resulted in [about] 60 accidental deaths," the study said.
The study said the rise in accidental gun deaths could be caused by factors including improper gun storage.
“It also shows the unintended consequences of public policy,” Phillip Levine, one of the statisticians who conducted the research, said, referring to lawmakers' calls for gun control measures in the shooting's aftermath.
“It suggests that in pursuing stronger restrictions, we have to consider the likelihood of actual legislation getting passed. Because if it fails, there are short-term costs,” he said.
The 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adults.
In October, the FBI released a trove of more than 1,500 highly redacted pages that shed light on the bureau's investigation into the shooting.