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AAP Endorses Senator Feinstein Legislation to Ban Assault Weapons

1/24/2013 The time has come for serious debate about guns in America
Washington, DC — The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) endorses the Assault Weapons Regulatory Act of 2013, and commends Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) for her tireless leadership on this important issue.

“Children deserve to be safe in their homes, schools and communities. For that reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics has been a long-time supporter of gun-safety policies, and fully supports the Assault Weapons Regulatory Act of 2013,” said AAP President Thomas K. McInerny, MD, FAAP.

Gun injuries cause twice as many deaths as cancer, five times as many as heart disease, and 15 times as many as infections. The Academy’s 2012 policy statement, “Preventing Firearm-Related Injuries in the Pediatric Population,” indicates that the presence of guns increases children’s and adolescents’ risk of injury and death. The policy recommends specific measures to reduce the destructive effects of guns in the lives of children and adolescents, including a strong, effective assault weapons ban, mandatory background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines. In addition, the AAP supports common sense practices, such as child safety awareness and the use of safety devices, for the millions of Americans who own firearms.

“Firearm-related deaths are one of the top three causes of death in American youth. Reducing this threat to children requires a complex and persistent national response,” Dr. McInerny said. “Senator Feinstein’s bill takes an important, vital step toward making children safer. Pediatricians call on Congress to pass this critical piece of legislation.”

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. (www.aap.org)