One in 4 US Colorado teens have quick access to guns: study

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The photo taken on April 17, 2019 in southwest Denver, Colorado, the United States, shows Columbine High School, the scene of a mass shooting 20 years ago, in its second straight day after it was shut down. [Photo/Xinhua]

One in 4 Colorado teens reported they could get access to a loaded gun within 24 hours, according to survey results published on Monday, with nearly half of them saying it would take them less than 10 minutes.

"That's a lot of access and those are short periods of time," said Virginia McCarthy, a doctoral candidate at the Colorado School of Public Health and the lead author of the research letter describing the findings in the medical journal JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Pediatrics.

American Indian students in Colorado reported the greatest access to a loaded gun, at 39 percent, including 18 percent saying they could get one within 10 minutes, compared with 12 percent of everybody surveyed. American Indian and Native Alaskan youths also have the highest rates of suicide.

"Creating barriers to easy access, such as locking up guns and storing them unloaded, extends the time before someone can act on an impulse, and increases the likelihood that they will change their mind or that someone will intervene," said Kaiser Health News in its report of the study.

The data came from the Healthy Kids Colorado Study, a survey conducted every two years with a random sampling of 41,000 students in middle and high school.

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