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Everytown Applauds Congressional Letter to Biden-Harris Administration Urging Action on Secure Storage of Firearms

December 16, 2021

Letter Led By Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) & Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) Echo Everytown’s Call for Action from Biden-Harris Administration on Secure Storage, Signed by 19 Senators and 100 Members of the House

Over 2 Million Students Now Live In School Districts That Educate Parents About Secure Firearm Storage, Thanks To Grassroots Efforts from Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Volunteers

WASHINGTON – Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements applauding a letter sent by members of the U.S. House and Senate to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona urging the Biden-Harris administration to develop a strategy for encouraging school districts to send parents information on secure firearms storage. 

This letter follows a renewed call made by Everytown for the Biden-Harris administration to promote secure firearm storage in the wake of the tragedy in Oxford, Michigan after eleven people were shot, four fatally, by a fifteen-year-old student who accessed an unsecured firearm purchased by his parents. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) — who represents Oxford, Michigan — and Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson (D-CA) led the letter on behalf of 101 members of the House and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) led the letter on behalf of 19 Senators, including Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Michigan Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). 

“The Biden-Harris Administration has proven that it’s serious about protecting Americans from gun violence, and their next step needs to be working with schools to send parents life-saving information about why and how they should securely store any weapons they own,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud Senator Murphy, Congresswoman Slotkin, and their colleagues for responding to the tragic shooting at Oxford High School with action.” 

“Thanks to our volunteers’ grassroots efforts in school districts across the country, over two million students now live in districts where parents receive notifications on the life saving importance of secure firearm storage. Given the recent increase in gunfire on school grounds, we need the Biden-Harris administration to turbocharge these efforts,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We appreciate the continued leadership by Senator Murphy and Congresswoman Slotkin to highlight all the ways the administration can take immediate action to keep guns out of the hands of children and prevent gun violence in our schools, homes and communities.”

Secure storage practices play a vital role in reducing the risk of gun violence, including gun violence at schools. In incidents of gunfire on school grounds, up to 80 percent of shooters under the age of 18 got the gun they used from their home or the homes of friends or relatives. An estimated 54 percent of gun owners don’t lock all of their guns securely and it’s estimated that 5.4 million children live in a home with at least one unlocked and loaded gun, an increase of 800,000 children since 2015. Gun owners can make their homes and communities safer by storing their guns securely — unloaded, locked, and separate from ammunition. 

Yesterday, Everytown announced that more than two million students across the country now live in a school district that requires schools to educate parents about the critical importance of secure firearm storage in keeping schools and students safe and Michigan school districts should follow suit. Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers across the country have successfully urged school boards across the country to enact such notification policies, including school districts in Vermont, Texas, California, Arizona, Oregon and Colorado. Secure firearm storage in the home is one of the most effective tools to prevent gun violence in schools.

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