Oklahoma lawmaker introduces bill to promote gun safety for kids
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — An Oklahoma lawmaker has introduced legislation that she hopes will improve gun safety in the Sooner State.
Senator Mary Boren says guns are the second leading cause of death among children and teens in Oklahoma.
Senate Bill 1294 would clarify the responsibility of gun owners to supervise a child’s use of their guns. It states that it is legal for a child to own a firearm for hunting or for hunter safety courses, education and training in the safe use and handling of firearms and other sport events.
“Every year, hundreds of children across the country pick up guns and accidentally and tragically shoot themselves or someone else. Oklahoma has the tenth highest gun death rate highest fire in the country, with an average of 711 people killed each year, including 55 children and teenagers,” Boren said. “Most of these deaths are tragically due to suicide, and too many deaths are the result of preventable accidents. Something needs to be done to better protect our state’s youth and prevent these accidental shootings and senseless deaths.
The bill states that it is negligent if a firearm owner leaves a firearm unsecured and accessible for a child to take, obtain or possess.
“Oklahomians love their guns, hunting and recreational shooting, but we need to do better to make sure children don’t have easy access to or unsupervised use of firearms,” said said Boren. “My bill will protect the right of Oklahomans to take their children hunting or have them attend classes to properly teach them how to use firearms, while prohibiting leaving firearms where children can use them unsupervised.”
According to Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been 36 unintentional shootings of children that have resulted in 11 deaths in Oklahoma since 2015.
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