A new study suggests that gun-related injuries drop by 20 percent when the National Rifle Association (NRA) has its annual conventions.
The study, published by the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday suggests that when approximately 80,000 people are attending NRA seminars and other events during the conference, there are fewer gun-related injuries in the country.
The Harvard research team analyzed gun-related injuries that occurred between 2007 and 2015 during NRA conventions. Researchers looked at nearly 76 million insurance claims filed in the United States that involved hospital emergency room visits or hospitalizations. They compared the number of people with gun-related injuries during NRA conventions with the number of gun-related injuries filed three weeks before and three weeks after conferences.
"Fewer people using guns means fewer gun injuries, which in some ways is not surprising," Dr. Anupam Jena, a practicing physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and one of the authors of the study told CNN. “But the drop in gun injuries during these large meetings attended by thousands of well-trained gun owners seems to refute the idea that gun injuries stem solely from lack of experience and training in gun use."
Dr. Jena notes a 20 percent reduction in firearm injuries among men in the South and West in states that have the highest gun ownership rates. The research also shows that people who live in areas where NRA conventions are held, injury rates dropped around 50 percent.
Jennifer Baker, the NRA’s director of public affairs is not in favor of recent findings published by the New England Journal of Medicine.
"This study claims that firearms-related injury plummets 20 percent nationwide when less than one-tenth of 1 percent of gun owners attend this event? That's absurd. You don't have to be a Harvard researcher to see those numbers simply don't add up."
In the wake of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, the NRA has been facing tremendous criticism concerning gun regulations and the minimum required age to purchase a firearm. The accused killer, Nikolas Cruz was 18 years old when he purchased an AR-15 assault rifle.