Gun ranges are preaching safety to combat national gun injury statistics

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The Associated Press reports that gun injuries, including many from assaults, sent 75,000 U.S. children and teens to emergency rooms over nine years.

Breaking that number down it comes with a cost of almost $3 billion.

KMVT’s Morgan Rumpf went to the Twin Falls Gun Club to learn more about how they practice safety.

"While it is something fun but you also have the power of life or death in your hands, and if you're not responsible enough to hold that power you shouldn't have something like that in your hands or in your possession," competitive shooter for Xavier Charter School Kendall Whitney said.

Researchers are calling their work the first nationally representative study on ER visits for gun injuries among children in the United States.

Kendall Whitney is 15 years old and falls in the average age of those sent to the ER related to gun incidents. As someone who's grown up around firearms she says safety is always first.

"It's one of the very first things when you start shooting in the very beginning, the first thing we cover as a team is safety,” Whitney explained. “The first thing that I learned when I started shooting with my dad was the safety aspect if things."

At the Twin Falls Gun Club there are many youth teams who shoot, but before they step up on the range they learn gun safety.

"To me it's almost like a driver's license they have to go through drivers education and attempt to get a learning permit,” said range President Waylon Klundt. “So to go through hunters safety courses to come out to ranges to watch and get the feel. The parents need to be involved knowing that these are a dangerous item but firearms are a lot of fun if you learn and do it properly."

Results showed the lead reason guns sent kids to the ER was from assaults, with boys being five times more likely to be shot than girls. The total numbers though amounts to about 8,300 kids each year.

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