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Following Advocacy by Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Volunteers, California Lawmakers Prioritize Legislation to Ensure Secure Firearm Storage

January 27, 2022

The California chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding the California Assembly for unanimously advancing AB 452, legislation to require schools to notify parents and guardians about secure firearm storage laws. Secure storage laws are one of the simplest ways to prevent school shootings, gun suicides, and unintentional shootings by children. Following years of grassroots advocacy from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, at least 27 school boards in California already send home information about secure storage every year, but if passed, AB 452 would be the first legislation in the country requiring schools statewide to issue these notifications.

“Today, California lawmakers have shown their commitment to keeping our children safe in and out of the classroom,” said Kasey Zahner, a volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The onus is always on adults to keep firearms away from children, and we applaud California lawmakers for taking action to ensure parents and guardians have the tools to do so.”

“I can envision a future where students like me don’t have to live in fear of gun violence,” said Roan Thibault, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in California. “Today, we’re one critical step closer to making that dream a reality, but this is only the beginning. We won’t stop fighting until we can all be safe, and we need leaders at every level to continue standing alongside us.”

Secure firearm storage in the home is one of the most effective tools to prevent gun violence in schools. According to research from the U.S. Secret Service, up to 76% of school shooters obtain their gun from their home or the home of relatives. In addition to preventing gun violence on school grounds, research shows that secure firearm storage also plays a vital role in reducing unintentional shootings and gun suicide. By preventing children and teens from accessing weapons in the first place, secure firearm storage can help reduce the risk of gun violence in and out of schools. 

Over the past two years, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, have successfully urged school boards across the country to enact secure storage notification policies, including school districts in California, Vermont, Texas, Arizona, Oregon and Colorado. Thanks to this tireless work, more than 2 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. This work is part of Everytown’s comprehensive approach to keeping schools safe from all forms of gun violence.

Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens in California. In an average year, 240 children and teens are killed by guns in the state, and 73% of these deaths are homicides. More information about gun violence in California is available here. More information about secure storage devices is available here.

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