Proposal to bar youngsters from shooting ranges advances

A bill that would keep youngsters under 18 out of shooting ranges is advancing in the legislature.

The measure is before the Comisión Permanente Especial de Seguridad y Narcotráfico. The committee is considering an extensive revision to the current weapons law.

Elibeth Venegas Villalobos, a legislator from the Partido Libreración Nacional, is promoting the prohibition against youngsters because she says children have a right to a safe environment.

She also said that firearms play a roll in family violence, as an instrument to threaten and as a mechanism for suicide.

The Patronato Nacional de la Infancia raised the issue of youngsters practicing with firearms and has said it does not want those under 18 to be at a shooting range. The legislator noted that in 2011 172 minors died from firearms.

“Permitting youngsters to enter shooting ranges is against their welfare because a young person is not prepared to operate a gun . . . , she said, noting that children as young as 10 years have been taken by their parents to shooting ranges

The committee decided to hear others on the subject as it considers an alternative text that has been drafted under the same number, No. 18.050.

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