People who own guns are twice as likely to binge drink and to drink and drive, compared with those who don’t own firearms, a new study finds.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis found that heavy alcohol use was most common among firearm owners who also engaged in behaviors such as carrying a firearm for protection against other people, and keeping a firearm at home that was both loaded and not locked away. The study included the results of a telephone survey of more than 15,000 people in eight states.
In the journal Injury Prevention, the researchers conclude that firearm ownership and specific firearm-related behaviors are associated with alcohol-related risk behaviors. “It’s not surprising that risky behaviors go together,” Garen J. Wintemute, author of the study and director of the university’s Violence Prevention Research Program, told CBS 13 Sacramento. “This is of particular concern given that alcohol intoxication also impairs a gun user’s accuracy as well as his judgment on whether to shoot.”