More Teens with Guns

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

VERONA -- A new study shows that the rate of gun deaths in 15 to 24 year olds is more than 40 times higher in the United States than in other wealthy nations.

This study out of Flint, Michigan also found that 80 percent of the young people with guns got them illegally.

But, here in the valley neither gun violence nor illegal gun sales are a problem.

Jordan Coffman works at the gun shack in Verona. He says most guns younger people have are for sporting.

"Mostly recreational, hunting, to go hunting with their dad,." says Coffman.

Coffman says here in valley, a lot of kids are used to being around guns at a young age. They are brought up hunting with their families. That's similar to how Patricia Beyer was raised.

Beyer says in her family, "they had guns but they went out and shot rabbits, to eat."

Beyer's son in law has guns in the house. He shoots at targets with his kids for fun.

Beyer says he stores them properly, "he has them locked up, he has the key in his pocket. And when he takes the boys out, he takes them out."

Coffman says you have to be 18 to buy a hunting rifle and any ammo, and 21 to get a hand gun. The gun shack is a licensed dealer so buyers go through all the proper background checks.

As for illegal guns, Coffman says, "you couldn't get it through us, it'd have to be from person to person on the streets. Not dealer to person."

Coffman says a parent or family member can buy a gun for a minor. But it would be registered in the adult's name. Coffman says it would be up to the parent if they thought the child was responsible enough.

But this study shows teens in other states take a different route.

Coffman says it "just all depends on how bad you want to get a fire arm. You can't get it through us, so if you really want it, you'll have to do whatever it takes to get one."

Coffman says that the age group buying the most hand guns right now is between 30 and 50. Most young people in the Valley are interested in hunting riles.


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