Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Washington state considers adding a child access protection law

The Washington State Legislature is considering the addition of a child access protection law, mandating safe storage of guns in homes with children, to reduce the number of shootings involving children getting their hands on unsecured firearms.

From an article:

Susie Tracy of the Washington State Medical Association said, “I think there is a lot of interest in the public in safeguarding our children, and we certainly encourage you to move forward in some manner to do that.” 
Some are pushing to require gun owners to use firearm locks and safe storage, an idea some lawmakers are already considering. 
“I’m all for using safety devices on firearms, that really ought to be much more strict,” Goodman said. 
But Brian Judy of the National Rifle Association said, “I have to ask again, why are we doing this for firearms? What’s the point?”

Obviously, the point is that, in many homes, guns are not secured away from children, and tragedies result.  But this doesn't sit well with the philosophy of the NRA that there should be no reasonable restraints of any kind with guns.

Here at the Kid Shootings blog, we have so far chronicled at least 278 unintentional shootings so far this year across the nation, most of which are due to children accessing guns.  We have also chronicled at least 131 cases where guns were taken by kids onto school property, 35 of which resulted in shootings.

As we detail on another pageChild Access Prevention (CAP) laws are common-sense legislation that require gun owners to store their weapons in such a way as to prevent access by minors without appropriate supervision.  As of 2008, 27 states and the District of Columbia had CAP laws, according to a Legal Community Against Violence February 2008 report.  At least three large cities also have CAP laws (Chicago, Cleveland, and Portland).  

  • In 12 states where CAP laws had been in effect for at least one year, unintentional firearm deaths fell by 23% from 1990-94 among children under 15 years old (Cummings, 1997).
  • CAP laws are correlated with reducing gun suicides among those aged 14 through 17 by 10.8%, and a reduction of 8.3% by anymethod (Webster, 2004).
  • CAP laws are correlated with a reduction of non-fatal gun injuries among both children and adults by 30-40% (DeSimone, 2005).
See our CAP Law page for more relevant statistics.

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