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1 Million Students Nationwide Now Attend Schools With Firearm Storage Awareness Policy

March 13, 2020

Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Have Urged School Boards Across the Country to Pass Resolutions Requiring Schools to Educate Parents About Secure Firearm Storage
Up to 80% of Those Who Perpetrate Gun Violence in Schools Access Their Gun From Home

In 2015, Moms Demand Action Launched the Be SMART Secure Firearm Storage Awareness Campaign 

NEW YORK — More than 1 million students across the country now live in a school district that has passed a resolution requiring schools to educate parents about the critical importance of secure firearm storage in keeping schools and students safe, after the Tucson Unified School District became the latest to pass the resolution on Tuesday. 

In the past year, volunteers with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, have successfully urged school boards across the country to pass such resolutions, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Denver. This work is part of Everytown’s comprehensive approach to keeping schools safe from all forms of gun violence.

“When it comes to keeping our children safe from gun violence, Moms Demand Action will leave no stone unturned, from statehouses to local school boards,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Thanks to the tireless work of volunteers across the country, more children than ever now live in homes where parents understand the risk of improper firearm storage.”

“In houses with unsecured guns, a secure storage reminder sent home from school could mean the difference between life and death,” said John Feinblatt, head of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Everytown is incredibly grateful to all of the school leaders who partnered with us to remind parents about secure storage, and all of the gun owners who heeded those messages.”

“My son JaJuan was taken from me because of an unsecured gun,” said Julvonnia McDowell, whose 14-year-old son, JaJuan McDowell, was unintentionally shot by another teen playing with a gun in 2016, who volunteers with Moms Demand Action’s secure storage program, Be SMART. “So I’m committed to telling as many people as possible how important it is to keep guns secured and out of reach of children. I know that these resolutions will save lives wherever they are passed.”  

“Two months ago, a student brought an unsecured gun from home to my school and shot one of my classmates,” said Izzy Richards, volunteer with Students Demand Action in Houston. “So I know how important it is that we all stand together for gun safety. We’re asking our school board to pass this resolution so everyone in my community understands the risk of unsecured guns.”

An estimated 4.6 million American children live in home with at least one gun that is loaded and unlocked. Every year, hundreds of American children gain access to firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else. Secure firearm storage plays a vital role in reducing unintentional shootings and gun suicide. 

Secure firearm storage in the home is also one of the most effective tools to prevent gun violence in schools. According to research from the U.S. Secret Service, up to 80% of school shooters access their gun from the home. More information about the role that secure storage can play in preventing tragedies is available here

Moms Demand Action volunteers have long advocated for secure firearm storage. In 2015, Moms Demand Action launched the Be SMART campaign to raise awareness that responsible gun storage – storing guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition – can save children’s lives. Today, almost 17,000 people are active with Be SMART and there have been over 6,500 events across all 50 states.

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