May 5, 2023 - Health

What we're reading: Bill Frist on guns

Screenshot: @bfrist/Twitter

Lawmakers should consider raising the legal age for purchasing guns and ban high-capacity magazines and assault-style weapons, former Republican Senate Majority Leader and physician Bill Frist wrote in Forbes.

Why it matters: Frist used to be one of the top GOP leaders in the country — but now he sees gun-related injuries as a public health crisis.

  • He called for policy solutions including red flag laws and expanding who is restricted from purchasing or owning firearms.

What he's saying: "I am a gun owner and a hunter. I have always and will continue to strongly support Second Amendment rights," Frist wrote.

  • "But times are different today — misuse of guns has grown much worse, substantially worse — with markedly more death and tragedy in our neighborhoods, than even a decade ago," Frist wrote.
  • "This demands a fresh look, free of past biases and partisan tones which have ruled so much of our earlier discussions and debate."

The big picture: The comments from the former Tennessee senator come in the wake of the deadly elementary school shooting in Nashville in March.

Zoom in: Frist also recommended policies to address guns as a public safety concern, including placing school resource officers at schools and funding more research into the drivers of gun violence.

  • Frist previously called for four policies to target gun injuries, including child-access prevention and safe storage laws, expanding background checks to all firearms purchases and requiring firearms safety courses for ownership.
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