Earlier Today, Moms Demand Action, Everytown Hosted Press Call with Michigan Senator Rosemary Bayer Outlining National Solutions to School Gun Violence Following Mass Shooting at Oxford High School
Between August 1 and October 31, at Least 89 Instances of Gunfire Occurred on School Grounds, Killing 15 and Wounding 63 — The Most Instances and People Shot in This Period Since Everytown Began Tracking in 2013
Common-Sense Gun Safety Measures like Secure Firearm Storage and Child Access Prevention Laws Can Prevent School Shootings
NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action hosted a press call with Michigan Senator Rosemary Bayer following a mass shooting at Oxford High School that left four students dead and seven others wounded — the deadliest school shooting in the US since May 2018. On the call, Senator Bayer, along with Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, and Megan Dombrowski, Students Demand Action National Advisory Board Member, outlined ways that local, state and federal leaders can act to protect students and prevent gun violence on school grounds, including common-sense secure firearm storage measures and child access prevention laws.
“The students who died at Oxford, and those who are taken every day by gun violence in our state and across the country, deserve more from us,” said Michigan Senator Rosemary Bayer. “As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to protect our communities, reflect on the policy failings that undoubtedly led to yesterday’s tragedy, and honor the children that we senselessly lost with action.”
“If we know where school shooters get their guns from, and we know that they exhibit warning signs – that means we can stop school shootings before they happen,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We have to prevent kids from getting their hands on guns in the first place, and that starts with secure gun storage. It’s not complicated, and it’s not controversial. It’s every gun owner’s responsibility to store their guns locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition. We’ve seen far too many times what can happen when they don’t and there needs to be accountability.”
“Young people are dying every day, and too often all we get is thoughts and prayers,” said Megan Dombrowski, Students Demand Action National Advisory Board Member. “Students aren’t waiting for people to act anymore. We can prevent gun violence — starting with enacting common-sense measures.”
The calls for action come amidst a historic national increase in gun violence on school grounds. Between August 1 and October 31 this year, at least 89 instances of gunfire occurred on school campuses, killing 15 and wounding 63 — the most instances and people shot in this period since Everytown began tracking in 2013.
In October, Everytown for Gun Safety released recommendations on school safety shared with the Biden-Harris Administration, which focused heavily on protecting children and promoting school safety by encouraging the secure storage of firearms. Today, Everytown is renewing its calls for the leaders at every level to promote secure firearm storage in order to keep kids safe.
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.
Earlier this year, Michigan Senator Rosemary Bayer introduced SB 550 and 553, legislation that would require gun owners to store their disabled firearm in a locked container in a reasonably secure location. By ensuring that gun owners are storing their firearms securely, these bills can help minimize the risk of gun suicides and unintentional shootings in communities across the state.
More than 1.5 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.
Learn more about secure storage here. If you are interested in speaking with a policy or research expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.