CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new study from Lurie Children's Hospital found that nearly half of Chicago parents who own guns store them loaded.
The study found that 46% of parents who keep guns at home store them loaded. Most parents, 89%, said they store and lock their guns.
Safety experts say if guns are stored at home they should be locked and unloaded.
The study found that 22-percent of Chicago parents say they have a gun at home.
The highest rate of gun ownership by parents was in Chicago's central region (59%), which includes the Loop, the Near North Side and the Near South Side.
The study surveyed 1,505 parents from all of the city's 77 neighborhoods.
"We know that the very best way to keep children safe from guns is to not keep guns in the home. It's also important for parents to ask whether guns are present in the homes of friends and family members where their children spend time," says Matthew M. Davis, MD, MAPP, Chair of the Department of Medicine at Lurie Children's, Executive Vice-President and Chief Community Health Transformation Officer at the Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities at Lurie Children's and Chair of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Of the parents who own guns, the top reasons for having them were safety (77%), hunting (32%), part of a collection (14%) and part of a parent's job (11%).