House School Safety Committee Report Doesn’t Consider Gun Violence Prevention Policies
RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today responded to a report from the House School Safety Committee that makes several recommendations related to school safety but which leaves out proven gun violence prevention strategies like Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws.
The report does not recommend arming teachers, a dangerous policy that is opposed by school safety experts, teachers and law enforcement officials. Instead, the report advocates increased attention to issues like mental health and first aid training. The report also recommends the formation of a new House committee to revisit the issue of school safety in 2019.
Though the House School Safety Committee was formed after the Parkland school shooting in Florida, gun violence prevention strategies like ERPO laws are missing in the report. Florida itself passed an ERPO law as a direct response to the shooting. These laws empower law enforcement and family members to petition a court to temporarily restrict a person’s access to firearms when they are a danger to themselves or others.
“After attending several committee meetings to advocate for gun violence prevention, I’m relieved this report doesn’t recommend arming our teachers,” said Jessica Hulick, volunteer leader with the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “But we need more. It’s not a child’s responsibility to learn how to stop someone from bleeding out after a shooting. We need to focus on how to prevent shootings from happening in the first place, and that means keeping guns out of the hands of people with dangerous histories with a robust Extreme Risk Protection Order law. I hope that the new House committee understands that gun violence prevention must be a key part of any school safety legislation.”
More information about ERPO laws is available here. A new comprehensive analysis of mass shootings from Everytown shows that in 51 percent of mass shootings in the last nine years, the shooter exhibited dangerous warning signs before the shooting.