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AAP Statement on House Passage of Universal Background Check Legislation

2/28/2019 by: Kyle Yasuda, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics

​"On the heels of yesterday's passage of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 8) in the U.S. House of Representatives, we are one step closer to making our communities safer for children and their families. Pediatricians applaud lawmakers for their bipartisan action, and now urge the U.S. Senate to follow suit without delay.

"Gun violence is a public health epidemic and must be addressed that way. Background checks for firearms sales are a proven public health intervention that will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. All children should be safe where they live, learn and play, and this legislation can help us get closer to making that possible by expanding background checks to cover all firearm sales and most firearm transfers.

"Looking forward, this bill should lay the groundwork for more needed, bipartisan progress, including $50 million in federal funding to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for research into firearm safety and injury prevention. As pediatricians, we urge our federal leaders to continue to work across the aisle to advance comprehensive policies that will protect children across the country from gun violence and save lives."

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 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. For more information, visit aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.