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Boston Children’s Hospital Study Reveals Child Access Prevention (CAP) Laws Spare Gun Deaths in Children

Child access prevention (CAP) laws are meant to protect children from accessing firearms by holding a parent or guardian responsible for the actions or potential actions a child takes with a firearm, and they are only on the books in half of the U.S.

The study, conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital, looks at firearm fatalities in children under 15 in states with varying levels of child access prevention laws – from those with the most restrictive laws in comparison to states with no restrictions at all.

There are many types of CAP laws ranging from simple recklessness laws to varying levels of negligence laws. With these laws, the gun owner, parent or guardian is subject to legal consequences should a child be provided with, use, gain access, or even possibly access a firearm.

Boston Children’s Hospital is ranked the #1 children’s hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. Today, 3,000 researchers and scientific staff, including 8 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 21 members of the National Academy of Medicine and 12 Howard Hughes Medical Investigators comprise Boston Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children’s is now a 415-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care.