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AAP Statement Opposing House-Passed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Legislation

12/7/2017 by: Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics

​"As we approach next week’s five-year anniversary of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we also reflect on the many acts of gun violence that have devastated communities across the country since then. The lack of progress on meaningful legislation to protect children and families from gun violence is undeniable and unacceptable. Yesterday’s action by the U.S. House of Representatives to advance concealed carry reciprocity for firearms not only fails to address this epidemic, but would actually make children less safe from gun violence.

“The legislation would make it easier to carry locked, loaded, and hidden firearms in public. Concealed carry reciprocity forces every state to accept concealed carry weapon permits from other states, undermining those states with stronger requirements. Research shows that easier access to firearms increases the risk that children and youth will be injured or killed by guns; making the concealed carry of firearms easier is a threat to children’s safety.

“Gun violence is a public health epidemic, and must be addressed that way through evidence-based policies. As pediatricians, we counsel parents on proper storage of firearms and do everything in our power to keep children safe – we also depend on our elected leaders to use the same common-sense approach to advance comprehensive gun violence prevention policies.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging the U.S. Senate to reject any legislation that weakens gun violence prevention laws and puts children’s safety at risk, including concealed carry reciprocity. All children deserve to be safe from gun violence where they live, learn and play. Pediatricians will not stand for anything less than progress when it comes to protecting children, families and communities from gun violence.”

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 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 www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.