Another measure submitted to prohibit children from using firearms

A Liberación lawmaker proposed Tuesday a change in the firearms law to prohibit minors from using weapons or even being at a shooting range.

The lawmaker is Ronny Monge Salas, who formally presented the measure, which still does not have a submission number.  Monge said he took the action, in part, to mark the Día de Niño.

Monge said that the Ministerio de Educación Pública reports that 434 firearms were found in the possession of school children between 2006 and 2012. He also reported that 58 youngsters have been treated for bullet wounds at the Hospital Nacional de Niños during the same period.

The statistics do not mention the children who have been killed by firearms.

In 2013 members of the previous legislature proposed a similar prohibition and said that children as young as 10 have been taken to shooting ranges by parents.

That prohibition was rolled into a wide-reaching firearms update that never was passed.

The Monge bill would prohibit minors to be involved in hunting activities even if they did not carry a firearm.   Adults who violate the law would face a stiff fine.

There has been a lengthy effort to prohibit children from handling firearms, although some proposals had exceptions for competitive shooting. The proposal by Monge does not.

In most of the cases he cited in which children were injured, the firearm was handled by someone else.

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