WASHINGTON –– Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statement after the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution’s hearing on safe/secure gun storage. The hearing, which was chaired by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), featured Dr. Maya Haasz (Children’s Hospital Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus), Dr. Ted Bonar (Brady), Kristin Song, Joseph Bartozzi (National Shooting Sports Federation), and Stephen Willeford. A recording is available here.
Secure firearm storage reduces the risk of gun violence, particularly among children, by helping prevent unintentional shootings and gun suicides. Unintentional shootings by children increased as Americans sheltered in place during the COVID-19 crisis, an analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund shows. According to the #NotAnAccident Index, there have been at least 93 unintentional shootings by children in 2021, resulting in 36 deaths and 62 injuries nationally.
“When a gun gets into the wrong hands, tragedy often ensues — and secure storage is one of the easiest ways to prevent that” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “No one should lose their life just because a gun wasn’t stored properly, and we applaud Chairman Blumenthal for his tireless work to advance common-sense solutions to gun violence.”
“There have been nearly 100 unintentional shootings by children just this year, and to be clear they are not accidents, but wholly avoidable tragedies that could have been prevented by secure storage,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Secure storage of firearms ensures that guns don’t get into the hands of children and adults who shouldn’t have access to them. Hearings like today’s help shine a light on the importance of common-sense solutions to reduce gun violence — now it’s time to act.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 36 percent of all gun deaths among children under 18 years old are suicides. Unsecured firearms also fuel gun violence outside the home. In incidents of gun violence on school grounds, up to 80 percent of shooters under the age of 18 obtained their guns from their own home, a relative’s home, or from friends. More information about secure storage can be found here. Additionally, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and Moms Demand Action have developed the Be SMART program, which helps parents and other adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has already shown a clear commitment this year to highlighting the common-sense solutions which are proven to reduce gun violence. Today’s hearing is the third subcommittee hearing exploring the solutions that prevent gun violence, with previous hearings focused on red flag laws and ghost guns. These subcommittee hearings followed a March hearing before the full Judiciary Committee about gun violence in the United States.