LETTER: As a pediatrician, proposed age-restriction gun law makes sense

EDITOR: As a Children’s Hospital Colorado pediatrician and epidemiologist, I research the impact firearm injuries have on children and families.

From 2018 to 2021, fatal and non-fatal firearm injuries increased in Colorado children ages 0-19, averaging almost one injury every day. Sadly, the firearm mortality rate in Colorado children averages more than one death per week.

In Colorado, the common denominator to the epidemics (unintentional, suicide, homicide) of firearm injury and death in children is access to firearms and the increasing numbers of firearm purchases and transfers in the state. Colorado’s political leaders should understand this root cause behind gun violence and do something that will save lives.

Link to Report: 2001 Outcomes Annual Report (childrenscolorado.org)

Existing federal law already requires a person to be 21 to purchase a handgun. Senate Bill 23-169 would prioritize gun violence prevention by aligning the age of purchase and possession of a long gun such as a rifle or shotgun from 18 to 21.  Additional measures to assure safe storage of existing firearms will also be important.

The human brain is still developing during adolescence such that youth are at elevated risk of engaging in impulsive behaviors involving themselves and others. This law could help protect a vulnerable group from this epidemic of firearm-related accidents, homicide and suicide.

Senate Bill 23-169 is a tool to reduce mortality and injury among young people, and I applaud the sponsors, Senator Jessie Danielson and Senator Kyle Mullica for their leadership. I encourage Colorado’s legislature to swiftly pass Senate Bill 23-169 to protect Colorado children.

— James Todd, MD, Children’s Hospital Colorado

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 days ago

The progressives lump children into the age group 0-19. If you look at children being 0-12 the numbers are much more realistic. “Children can join American armed forces at 17, does this indicate we have child soldiers in our military? Are we counting the deaths that happen in a war zone to our soldiers that are under 20 in the statistic’s outlined by this article?. Time for common sense.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
6 days ago

If 18 year olds are not responsible enough to own a firearm, we should probably look into repealing the 26th Amendment as well.