Moms Demand Action Teams Up with Local Law Enforcement to Promote Be SMART Program to Prevent Unintentional Shootings by Children in the U.S.
#NotAnAccident Index Reveals There Have Been at Least 216 Unintentional Shootings by Children Nationwide This Year, Resulting in 83 Deaths and 145 Injuries Nationally
NEW YORK – Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, yesterday joined local law enforcement in 16 states across the country to promote secure firearm storage during National Night Out, an annual community-building campaign that promotes neighborhood camaraderie to keep neighborhoods safe and secure. Moms Demand Action volunteers joined to promote their Be SMART campaign, to spread awareness about unintentional shootings and the importance of storing firearms locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition as neighborhoods across the country hosted block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and other various community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and exhibits. To learn more, visit https://natw.org/about.
“Too many children’s lives are cut short every year because of something as simple and fixable as guns not being securely stored,” said Lorraine Lombardi, a volunteer with the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action. “On National Night Out and every other day, we need to come together and make sure our communities know how to prevent these tragedies. Through the Be SMART program, we can work to encourage responsible gun storage and save lives.”
Moms Demand Action volunteers hosted Be SMART tables during at least 47 National Night Out events with local law enforcement officials in 16 different states, including California, Massachusetts, Alabama, Maryland, New Jersey, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, Connecticut, Virginia, Illinois, Georgia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.
As gun sales and gun violence have increased over the last year, so have unintentional shootings by children. Between March and December of 2020, there was a 31 percent increase in unintentional shooting deaths by children and an 18 percent increase in unintentional injuries, compared to the same time period in 2019. Moms Demand Action volunteers around the country have been working to raise awareness and prevent more unintentional shootings by educating their communities with Everytown’s Be SMART program — a program designed to help parents and other adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries.
According to Everytown’s #NotAnAccident Index, there have been at least 216 unintentional shootings by children in 2021 alone. Research shows that to protect children and teens, gun owners should store guns unloaded, locked, and separate from ammunition.
For more information on the Be SMART program and how to secure your firearms, visit the Be SMART website. Additional information about unintentional shootings is here. If you are interested in speaking with a policy or research expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.