The Nevada chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Clark County School Board voted to approve a resolution to ensure parents are receiving information about the importance of responsibly storing firearms to protect minors from accessing guns at home. With the passage of this resolution, there are more than 1.5 million students across the country in schools with secure storage notification policies in place.
The resolution directs the creation an appropriate letter, in English and Spanish, to parents and guardians that explains the importance of secure gun storage. The notification will be included in the annual registration materials at each school site. The effort was led by Clark County School Board President Linda P. Cavazos, a former Moms Demand Action volunteer in Nevada.
“Secure storage helps prevent unintentional shootings and gun suicides among children — which is vital after a heartbreaking surge in youth suicide in our community over the past few months,” said Ariana Saunders, a volunteer with the Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action in Clark County. “With the increase in gun sales and gun violence over the last year, secure gun storage is more important than ever. I am grateful to the Clark County School District for passing this life-saving notification.”
With over 320,000 students, the Clark County School District is the fifth largest school district in the country and the most recent system to proactively address secure firearm storage.
The vote comes months after the Clark County School district announced earlier this year it would reopen schools following a surge in youth suicides in the area, and on the heels of other school systems in Los Angeles, Denver, and Phoenix passing similar resolutions in recent years. An NBC News story detailed the efforts of Moms Demand Action volunteers helping pass secure storage resolutions in school districts around the country.
In the majority of school gun violence incidents involving a shooter under the age of 18, the shooter obtained the gun from home, their relative’s home or from friends. Additionally, almost 1,200 American children and teens die by firearm suicide each year and over 100 children and teens are unintentionally shot and killed. These numbers suggest that secure storage can be an effective tool in addressing gun violence among children and teens, as well as the source of guns used in school gun violence.
A 2019 study estimated that if half of households with children switched from leaving their guns unlocked to responsibly storing them all locked, one-third of youth gun suicides and unintentional deaths could be prevented – saving an estimated 251 lives in a single year.