Iowa House Republicans and Democrats passed several gun rights bills on Feb. 23, including one that would put firearms into the hands of children under the age of 14.
The kids' bill would require parental supervision, and some Democrats opposed it, notes Iowa Public Radio.
Democrat state Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt asked what type of weapon a two- or three-year-old toddler would carry.
“I’ve got the bill right in front of me,” Running-Marquardt stated. “It’s a valid question.”
“You’re missing the whole point of the bill,” Republican state Rep. Jake Highfill replied. “I think this is one of the best bills we’ve done for second amendment rights.”
Democrat state Rep. Mary Mascher mentioned a nine-year-old girl who accidentally killed a gun instructor (Charles Vacca) in Arizona in 2014.
“Unfortunately the instructor and the parents made the wrong decision and someone died,” Mascher added. “Every three hours in this country a child dies from gun violence.”
A 2014 study led by Dr. John Leventhal, of the Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, found that about 20 children in the U.S. go to the hospital every day with gunshot wounds, noted HealthDay News.
According to Leventhal, hospital records show that guns caused 7,391 hospitalizations of kids younger than 20 years old in 2009; there were 453 deaths.
The gun bills, including the children's firearm bill, will advance to the Democratic-controlled Iowa state Senate.
Sources: Iowa Public Radio, HealthDay News / Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Desiree Esposito/Ramstein Air Base