Each year, the National Rifle Association holds a convention that draws as many as 80,000 firearm enthusiasts from all over the United States. And researchers have noticed an interesting trend: Each year during that convention, gun injuries drop tremendously.
In a new study, researchers looked at about 76 million insurance claims for firearm injuries between 2007 and 2015, and measured how many occurred during NRA conventions. They found gun injuries dropped more than 20 percent across the entire U.S. during those meetings.
The team thinks the decline is due to how the convention draws "avid firearm users" — like the owners of firing ranges — who take time off from shooting to attend the event. In fact, the team found the biggest reductions in gun injuries were among men in southern and western parts of the U.S. — the group with the highest rates of gun ownership.
The research team said its findings address a common argument about gun injuries: that they're caused by inexperience and lack of safety training. If gun injuries drop that much while the most avid users are at a convention, then inexperience can't be the only problem.
However, the team did say because their study was based solely on medical records, the relationship between conference attendance and gun injuries isn't necessarily concrete.
Newsy reached out to the National Rifle Association for comment on this story, but it did not respond by the time of publishing.