Researchers discovered additional factors linked with increased firearms access that included past suicide attempts and self-reported mental health disorder diagnoses.
Adopted by Council on October 28, ; Updated May,and June, To be reviewed April Danger from firearms is a disturbing reality in the lives of our children and adolescents. Almost one-third of all homes contain guns1 with estimates that 50 million Americans own million guns.
Research indicates that if a gun is stored in a home, the risk of homicide increases threefold and the risk of suicide increases up to fivefold. Many students who carry guns do so because they are afraid or influenced by peer pressure.
Research on brain development demonstrates that young children have difficulty accurately assessing risk, and that adolescents are actually drawn to risk taking behavior. These developmental considerations make access to guns particularly dangerous for children and adolescents.
The United States has the highest rates of firearm-related deaths among industrialized countries, including homicide, suicide, and unintentional deaths;5 and young people are often the victims. Gun violence accounts for almost 4, deaths and over 15, injuries each year among children and adolescents.
AACAP believes that the most effective measure to help prevent firearm-related deaths and injuries to children and adolescents is to reduce the presence of guns in homes and communities.
This is particularly critical for homes or families in which the threat of personal violence exists. AACAP also supports all efforts to educate children and the general public about the danger of guns, and the increased risk of accidental injury and death associated with gun ownership.
Due to their inherent impulsivity, any and all access to firearms by youth must be restricted, controlled and closely supervised.
AACAP further supports increased funding for research on gun safety and the prevention of gun related violence, and opposes legislative efforts to restrict or inhibit such initiatives.
Additionally, AACAP encourages the strict enforcement of existing laws pertaining to the purchase, ownership and storage of firearms, as well as safety measures such as trigger locks, extended waiting periods, mandatory background checks for all transactions related to gun ownership, and other initiatives designed to protect children and reduce the incidence of gun related violence.
Finally, AACAP opposes legislative efforts to limit, restrict, or interfere with clinical inquiries by physicians about the presence of and access to firearms in the home, as such inquiries are essential to a comprehensive safety assessment.
References Anglemyer, Andrew, Horvath, Tara. Denise, and Sege, Robert D. Hemenway, David and Solnick, Sara. Adolescent Maturity and the Brain: Gun ownership and social gun culture. Should the science of adolescent brain development inform public policy? Source of Statistics Cited:Stay with this story by gaining full access to Herald/Review Media’s award-winning journalism as a contributing online member.
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The solutions may be nuanced, but authorities said the core problem is clear — easy access to guns on the street. Even the kids know that. “You need a gun and you got $, just ask on the street and someone will know how to find one,” said Dyani Saunders, Get the American Rifleman Insider newsletter for at-a-glance access to industry news, gear, gun reviews, videos and more—delivered directly to your Inbox.
You asked (1) for a summary of a new Illinois gun law requiring reports of mental health data to state and federal authorities for use when processing gun licenses, (2) for a summary of Connecticut gun laws as they pertain to mental health issues, and (3) whether other states require reports of mental health information to state or federal authorities processing applications to get gun permits.
Sep 10, · Never mind more pressing issues: Florida is fighting for teens to have easier access to handguns. Last week Attorney General Pam Bondi joined 21 other states in backing the National Rifle.
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