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Firearm access, carriage and use in an ethnically diverse sample of young adults in Texas, USA.

Background Despite the high rates of firearm ownership and firearm-related injuries and mortalities in Southern US states, understandings on the factors contributing to these are lacking. Methods Using wave 10 (2021) data from a longitudinal study, we examined firearm-related experiences among 636 ethnically diverse young adults (mean age=26 years; 62% female) in Texas, USA. Results Just over half of participants had ready access to firearms, with 22.3% having carried a firearm outside of their home, 4.9% having been threatened with a firearm by a romantic partner and 4.4% by a non-romantic partner. More firearm access and carriage were reported in males, white participants and those with >US$50 000 income. More females than males had been threatened with a firearm by a romantic partner, but more males than females had been threatened by a non-partner. Participants with recent financial difficulties were proportionally more likely to be threatened with a firearm than those without difficulties. Conclusion Findings emphasise the alarming rate of firearm access and carriage in Texas and highlight the disparities in firearms experiences by sociodemographic characteristics.

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