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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Arizona Range Tragedy Prompts Look at State Laws on Minors and Long Guns

Sebastian found this piece on the Washington Post Wonkblog yesterday that looks at state laws related to minor possession of rifles and shotguns.  The Wonkblog post was prompted by the tragic shooting of a range instructor in Arizona on Monday when a 9 year-old was not able to control an Uzi that the instructor was showing her how to shoot. 
In the wake of the accidental death of a gun instructor in Arizona, many are likely asking how a 9-year old was allowed to hold and fire an automatic weapon. But gun laws in the United States — specifically those concerning minimum legal age requirements for gun possession — are actually still surprisingly lax.
As the article points out, there are federal laws for minimum age purchasing of firearms.  But, as Sebastian's title of his post points out, The Horror!  Parents can buy firearms and give them to their children:
But a child's parent could. "If dad wants to give his son a rifle or a shotgun on his 13th or 14th birthday, he's pretty much free to do that in most states," Webster said.
And we can't have that! Although accidental deaths related to firearms are at all time lows, the gun ban proponents have trotted out a new response - questioning the number as being something that is under reported:
But it’s important to note that these numbers could be too low. A recent study found that federal reports of accidental child gun deaths are significantly underreported. There’s good reason to assume that accidental gun deaths and injuries are underreported for all ages. "You are potentially looking at accidental shootings that are twice current estimates," said Sam Bieler, an Urban Institute researcher who studies gun violence.

The nannyists will continue to use tragedies like the one on Monday to take away the ability of parents to decide what is best for their children when it comes to firearms but the fact is, millions of young people of varied ages use firearms safely for competition and hunting.  And, as Adam Winkler, a law professor at the UCLA who is not usually consider a proponent of gun rights told the Wall Street Journal: 
"There's nothing wrong with having children at gun ranges," he continued. "Shootings at gun ranges are freak accidents. They don't happen very often. Usually there's no place where shooters are more supervised than on a gun range."

1 comment:

308Tom said...

Minors should always be supervised when handling firearms - less experience and lower ages require more and closer supervision.

This accident was a clear failure on the part of the supervisor (instructor).