Report: Nevada youth not safe from guns

For the sixth year in a row, a national organization that aims to protect children from guns has ranked Nevada's efforts as below average.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, based in Washington, D.C., gave Nevada a D+ grade for "very weak" laws regarding possession of guns by juveniles, no required background checks for private gun purchases, especially at gun shows, and "inadequate" laws to prevent child access to weapons.

To Nevada's credit, the state does hold adults responsible if they leave loaded guns around children, the study noted.

But that didn't prevent 31 children and teens from dying in Nevada as a result of gunshot wounds in 2000, the most recent year for which data is available.

The number of young people killed nationwide by guns has dropped from an average of 16 per day to eight since the Brady Campaign began grading state gun laws in 1997.

Nevada can improve its grade next year by requiring child safety locks to be sold with guns to prevent unintentional shootings and by requiring all gun buyers to go through criminal background checks, especially buyers at gun shows, said Sarah Brady, chairwoman of the Brady Campaign.

The Brady Campaign gave D and F grades to 29 states -- many of which had child and teen firearm death rates that are higher than the national average.

Six states -- California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey -- received A grades.


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