By Dena K. Hubbard MD, FAAPLegislative Coordinator
House Bill 2326 passed House last session which includes reciprocity of concealed carry permit between jurisdictions and lower concealed carry age to 18. HB 2415 remains alive for 2020 and this legislation prohibits healthcare questions regarding weapons. KAAP will provide testimony in strong opposition to this legislation. We need you to speak up for children on this issue!
In your practice, consider contacting your local school district to offer your assistance and expertise. Become familiar with your school district’s emergency management plan. Know the names and means for contacting school health and safety team staff and how you may assist them in the event of a crisis. Address firearms safety as part of your routine anticipatory guidance with children of all ages. Ask about presence of firearms in the home, and counsel parents who do keep guns to store them unloaded in a locked case, with ammunition locked separately. While the safest home for children is one without a gun, safe storage practices can significantly reduce the risk of gun injury or death. Advise families to remove guns from the home of any child or teenager who is depressed. Educate families that suicide attempts with a gun are very likely to be fatal, and the presence of a gun in the home is associated with increased risk of suicide among adolescents. Instruct parents to ask if there is gun in the house before sending their children to play at a friend’s home. Reinforce families’ awareness of their school districts’ crisis plans, including schools plan for parental notification in the event of lockdown, shelter-in-place, or evacuation to an alternative site.