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Bell Talks Firearm Safety on Vermont Public’s Vermont Edition

December 11, 2023 by Lucy Gardner Carson

(DECEMBER 11, 2023) Rebecca Bell, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of pediatrics, was interviewed by Vermont Public for a Vermont Edition story on keeping kids safe from firearms.

Rebecca Bell, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of pediatrics, a pediatric critical care physician at UVM Children’s Hospital and president of the Vermont Medical Society

(DECEMBER 11, 2023) Rebecca Bell, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of pediatrics, a pediatric critical care physician at UVM Children’s Hospital and president of the Vermont Medical Society, was interviewed by Vermont Public for a Vermont Edition story on keeping kids safe from firearms.

Firearm fatalities became the No. 1 cause of death for kids in the U.S. in 2020, Bell said. “When we talk about bike helmets and seat belts ... we should be saying, How are the firearms stored in the house? And we should be using presumptive language because half of Vermont households have firearms. And we should use a nonjudgmental tone ... and then we can proceed to have a conversation about storage of firearms.”

Bell said doctors and officials recommend firearms are stored locked up, unloaded, with the ammunition locked and stored separately. There is good data showing this reduces firearm death and injury at home, she said.

Even when older kids are trained in proper firearm use, parents should be in charge of proper storage, Bell said. Parents often think their teenagers can be in charge of storing their own firearms, but this can lead to young people using firearms on themselves in suicide attempts during a temporary crisis.

Vermont this year passed a safe storage provision that requires gun owners to store firearms in a locked container if a child, or a prohibited person, could gain access to them. Vermonters can find a list of free cable lock sites throughout the state, as well as a link to temporary and voluntary out-of-home storage sites at GunSafeVT.org.

Read full story at Vermont Public

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