Pediatricians: Ban assault weapon sales

Dec. 31, 2012 at 9:26 PM

CHICAGO, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- The 60,000 members of the American Academy of Pediatrics say they are advocating for a ban on assault weapons sales to ensure U.S. children are safe.

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Dr. Thomas K. McInerny, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, called for new federal legislation to ban assault weapons sales and the sale of high-capacity magazines, strengthens mandatory waiting periods and background checks for all gun purchases, and promotes strict gun safety policies.

These measures reflect the AAP policy statement on firearm injuries released last October. The organization is also calling for federal action to improve children's access to mental health services and support for children exposed to violence.

"We are ready to work with you ... to honor the memory of the children and families in Connecticut and those exposed to gun violence every day through swift, bold action that keeps our children healthy and safe," McInerny wrote in the letter.

"As pediatricians, we believe that children deserve a safe environment in which to grow and learn. These incidents are always horrific, but the fact that young children were the victims in this case makes us even more passionate about trying to prevent such tragedies in the future."

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