Fact-checking claim in Stacey Abrams ad: Are guns the leading cause of death for young people in Georgia?

The Trust Index rates this statement as true

The Trust Index rates this statement as true.

The News4JAX Trust Index team is taking a look at a claim in a political commercial for Georgia Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Abrams.

The advertisement focuses on the issue of guns. It’s from the One Georgia Inc. committee and approved by the Abrams campaign.

The ad comes as Gerald Rose and several other Atlanta activists call for an end to the gun violence following a shooting Monday of a Subway restaurant worker who police say was killed by a customer upset over the amount of mayonnaise on a sandwich.

“The gun violence here in Atlanta is an outrage,” said Rose, with the New Order National Human Rights Organization.

The recent ad supporting Abrams claims that guns are the leading cause of death for young people in the state.

In the commercial, a nurse says, “The leading cause of death for young people in Georgia, isn’t car crashes, it’s firearms.”

The ad highlights a headline in May from an Atlanta TV station’s website, which makes a similar statement.

We checked 11 Alive’s article and the federal statistics behind it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2016 to 2020, firearms have been the leading cause of death among young people ages 1 to 19 in Georgia. Prior to that, the leading cause of death had been motor vehicle accidents.

As an example, in 2020, there were 125 deaths in this age group from an assault involving a firearm. The same year, there were 48 deaths in that age group from motor vehicle accidents. As a comparison, in 2010, there were 74 motor vehicle deaths and 64 gun deaths among this age group in Georgia.

The claim does need some context because 2020 is the last year these federal statistics are available.

It’s also not clear in the CDC statistics what impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on shooting deaths in the state of Georgia, and it may be several more months before we see the 2021 data.

The Georgia statistics in 2020 are in line with national totals from the CDC.

So to the claim in the political advertisement that the leading cause of death for young people in Georgia is firearms, the Trust Index rates as true.

While the data for 2021 and 2022 is unavailable, the most recent CDC data backs up this claim.

It's True

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About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.