Guns leading contributor to child deaths in Washington, nationally

Gun Rights

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) hosted a gun violence survivors’ summit on Tuesday. Gun deaths are a leading contributor to child deaths according to state and federal data.

Deputy US Attorney General Lisa Monaco argued that gun violence is a pressing issue during the ATF summit.

“Every day, gun violence continues to devastate families and communities across our nation. It’s the leading cause of death for American children and teenagers,” Monaco said.

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Monaco did not cite a specific study in her remarks, but a 2023 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that firearms are the leading contributor to the deaths of children ages 1-17. Car accidents and cancer were the second and third highest contributors to childhood deaths according to the study.

Gun deaths are also the leading cause of deaths for teenagers in Washington State according to the Washington State Office of the Governor.

A high capacity magazine ban passed by state legislature in 2022 and is currently legally disputed before the Washington State Supreme Court Commissioner.

An additional policy requiring tightened security measures for gun retailers was signed into law in March and criticized by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“House Bill 2118…places onerous requirements on Washington-based [retailers] and will put many out of business because of the financial burden to comply,” the NRA said.

The ATF summit was attended by US Attorney General Merrick Garland, several law enforcement agencies and a cohort of gun violence survivors.

Current ATF leadership plans on hosting the survivors’ summit annually, though it is not clear whether future administrations would choose to continue hosting the event.

FOX28 Spokane©

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