To the editor:
This summer, a 3-year-old child in Wichita died when he found a gun in his home and shot himself. Sadly, such a tragedy is not rare. A recent analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety found that about two American children are killed every week in unintentional shootings. Most often, the firearms were legally owned, but not secured. These tragedies are often reported as accidents, but most of them are preventable with safe gun storage, a common practice of responsible gun owners.
Nearly three-fifths of the states have laws to allow police to bring charges against gun owners if children access their unsecured guns. We should be disappointed that Kansas is not among them. There’s evidence that child access prevention laws reduce the number of children killed or injured in gun accidents and they can also substantially reduce child gun suicides.
Polls show that 86 percent of Americans — and 77 percent of gun owners — agree that parents with guns in their homes should be required to keep them locked and unloaded. With election season nearly upon us, please tell your elected officials and those running for office to support laws that prevent children from accessing unsecured guns.