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AAP Statement on Universal Background Check Legislation

1/8/2019 by: Kyle Yasuda, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics

"At the start of a new Congress, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is encouraged by bipartisan efforts to advance legislation that would require universal background checks for the purchase of firearms. The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 8) is an important, long overdue step forward to protect children from gun violence and should serve as a starting point for more needed progress.  

"As pediatricians, keeping children safe and healthy is our number one priority. No child should have his or her life cut short by gun violence, and yet families and communities across our country continue to face the devastating consequences of this deadly public health epidemic.

"Like any epidemic, gun violence can be prevented; requiring strong background checks is key to the process. Pediatricians will continue to urge Congress to enact common-sense firearm safety policies, including $50 million in federal funding for long-stalled gun violence prevention research.

"As we begin a new year with a newly elected Congress, the AAP looks forward to working with both chambers to advance this legislation without delay, and to continue to work across the aisle on policies that help ensure all children are safe from gun violence where they live, learn and play."


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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.