Based on an exposé in Sunday’s The New York Times suggesting that so-called “accidental” shooting deaths of American children are radically underreported, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is calling on Congress and state legislatures to take immediate action to address the lack of adequate government oversight of guns. These deaths should always be referred to as negligent, not “accidental,” and all adults whose guns are used in the shootings of children should be held accountable and punished by federal and state laws.
Due to manipulation by the gun lobby and Congress’s acquiescence, firearms have been specifically exempted from regulation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). A 1976 amendment to the Consumer Product Safety Act specifically states that the CPSC “shall make no ruling or order that restricts the manufacture or sale of guns, guns ammunition, or components of guns ammunition, including black powder or gun powder for guns.” As a result, the CPSC can regulate teddy bears and toy guns but not real guns.
And in state after state, gun rights advocates and lobbyists have cited phony federal numbers as proof that child gun deaths are inconsequential and that state storage laws are unnecessary. We must no longer allow special interest groups that stand to profit from a proliferation of guns drive state laws based on studies built from these flawed government statistics.
We call on Congress to immediately pass HR 2464, sponsored by Congresswoman Robin Kelly, which would put guns and firearms under the watch of the CPSC along with toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals. In addition, state legislatures must enact laws that hold adults accountable for children accessing firearms. Currently, fewer than 20 states have such laws in place.
For too long, we have entrusted our elected officials to ensure that the shooting deaths of American children are being actively addressed, prevented, and reported. The mothers of America are saddened and sickened that federal and state legislators have turned a blind eye to this crisis, and we demand action now.