Experts are telling Kentucky lawmakers that gun violence needs to be addressed as a public health crisis and they are recommending lawmakers consider legislation that would require gun owners to lock up their firearms.
A legislative committee heard testimony Wednesday about how gun violence impacts young people across the state and country.
The meeting came after a string of school shootings across the country earlier this year, including an incident at Marshall County High School that killed two 15 year-olds.
Brit Anderson is a pediatric emergency doctor at the University of Louisville. She says teens in the U.S. are 82 times more likely to die by firearm injuries than in other developed nations.
“This is a public health problem. And public health problems require a logical, multifaceted approach. There is no miracle cure here but we can and must do better,” Anderson said.
Firearm-related injuries are the third-leading cause of death in children between ages 1 and 17, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since the Marshall County High School shooting, Kentucky lawmakers have considered a variety of legislation directed at preventing gun violence. The only policy that passed into law during this year’s legislative session was a provision encouraging more law enforcement be put into schools.