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Louisiana Lawmakers Back Bill Keeping Automatic Guns From Kids

Lawmakers in Louisiana are backing a measure to keep automatic guns away from kids. The bill came to be after a firearm instructor was accidentally killed by a child here in Arizona.

The Louisiana House criminal justice panel voted 7-6 to fine and possibly imprison people who allow children under 13 to handle fully automatic weapons.

The lawmaker who proposed the legislation was responding to an incident that took place in Arizona nearly three years ago.

A 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed her firearm instructor as he was showing her how to fire an Uzi at a gun range.

An opponent of the measure said it was overly broad, since it would seemingly prevent children from holding unloaded automatic weapons. A similar measure was proposed in 2015 but it did not advance.

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.