California Youth Firearm Injury Reporting System (CYFIRS)
Each year from 1991 through 1998 about 500 Californians under age 19 were injured each year from self-inflicted or unintentional gunshot wounds. Over this eight year period 1,016 died and 2,918 were hospitalized from their injuries during this period. Many more youth were likely treated at emergency rooms.
Under existing law, none of these young people should have had unsupervised access to firearms. To strengthen existing law, the Aroner-Scott-Hayden Firearm Safety Act of 1999 required a firearm safety device to be included with each gun sold or transferred in California beginning in 2002. To track the injuries that this law intended to prevent, the act also mandated that law enforcement agencies report to the state Department of Health Services (now the California Department of Public Health) all unintentional or self-inflicted firearm injuries to youth under 19 years old. This reporting requirement began in January of 2000. The Department of Health Services worked with the Department of Justice to develop a report form. Information Bulletin No. 2000-02-FD was sent out with report forms to all California law enforcement agencies.
We urge law enforcement agencies to comply with this requirement (download form here ) and help us spread the word to your colleagues. Please feel free to contact staff at the California Department of Public Health at (916) 552-9800 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.