Released June 26, 2008 by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Society for Adolescent Medicine:
ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS AND SOCIETY FOR ADOLESCENT MEDICINE STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT DECISION ON THE D.C. HANDGUN BAN U.S.
“As pediatricians, too often we see the terrible toll gun violence takes on its youngest victims,” said AAP President Renée R. Jenkins, MD, FAAP. “Today’s Supreme Court decision is a tragedy for children, taking away a critical law needed to fight a public health threat that needlessly claims as many as eight young lives a day in
. We can’t afford to lose any of the tools that can help keep guns out of the reach of children.” America
Earlier this year, AAP and SAM, along with three other organizations dedicated to protecting the health and safety of children, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the District’s handgun law.
“The Society for Adolescent Medicine believes that firearm violence is one of the most serious threats to the health of adolescents in the
,” said SAM President Richard E. Kreipe, MD. “For that reason, the Society supports laws to reduce the availability of handguns, the primary source of firearm injuries among adolescents.” United States
The ban, one of the strictest in the nation, made it illegal to own handguns in the District. It also required shotgun and rifle owners to unload and disassemble them, or use a trigger lock, if the weapons were kept at home. A lower court overturned the ban in March 2007, prompting the Supreme Court challenge.
In the wake of today’s decision, AAP and SAM urged parents across the
to take steps to protect their children from firearm violence, including locking up weapons stored at home. “The best way to truly protect children from firearm injuries is to get guns out of their homes, their neighborhoods and where they play,” Jenkins said. “If we don’t, too many children will continue to be hurt or die needlessly.” United States