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Table 1 Firearms Scenarios from the NASW Child Neglect Surveya

From: Social workers’ determination of when children’s access or potential access to loaded firearms constitutes child neglect

Scenario 1: No firearm access by a child
 A man becomes aware that his neighbors store a LOADED firearm in an unlocked drawer where their child could easily gain access to it. He alerts the police. The parents were aware that the firearm was stored in an unlocked drawer.
  1A: Assume NO state laws were violated in this scenario. Is this child neglect if the child never touched the firearm and was 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 years old.
  1B: Assume the child never touched the firearm, but state law requires firearms to be safely stored so a child of this age cannot gain access. Is this child neglect, if the child was 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 years old.
Scenario 2: Firearm access by a child
 A woman notices a child in the yard next door with a firearm. She alerts the police who quickly respond and confirm that the child had a loaded firearm. The parents were inside the house at the time. They were aware that they had stored a loaded firearm in an unlocked drawer.
  2A: Assume NO state laws were violated in this scenario. Is this child neglect, if the child was uninjured and was 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 years old.
  2B: Assume NO state laws were violated, but the child discharged the weapon causing a serious gunshot wound to the leg. Is this child neglect, if the child was 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 years old.
  2C: Now assume that the child was NOT injured, but state law requires firearms to be safely stored so a child of this age cannot gain access. Is this child neglect, if the child was 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 years old.
  2D: Assume the same state law as above was violated, AND the child discharged the weapon causing a serious gunshot wound to the leg. Is this child neglect, if the child was 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 years old.
  1. aParticipants were asked to indicate all ages for which the scenario would, in their professional opinion, constitute child neglect for a child both physically and developmentally normal and with no behavior problems