The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday, May 9th, that will require the school district to communicate with parents on the life-saving importance of secure firearm storage. Students Demand Action volunteers at RJ Reynolds and Reagan High Schools have been pushing for the resolution since the start of the school year.
This victory serves as a beacon of hope for North Carolina students after state lawmakers chose to weaken gun laws during the legislative session. North Carolina lawmakers had the opportunity to pass multiple productive bills to advance gun violence prevention measures in the wake of mass shootings across the country but instead chose to repeal the handgun background check that had been in place for over 100 years, overriding North Carolina Roy Cooper’s veto just days after the horrific mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville.
Following the repeal of the handgun background check system, gun sales are surging – just two weeks following the veto override, one gun store owner is reporting a nearly 250% increase in business. Data collected by The Trace shows that this store is no outlier; North Carolina saw a 282% increase in gun sales in April compared to last year.
To create safer homes and communities in light of weaker gun laws and increased gun sales, adopting this safe storage resolution and ensuring parents and guardians know how important it is to keep their guns securely stored is an integral step.. This means storing them locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition. Securing firearms protects children and adults by helping to prevent unintentional shootings and gun suicides. It is possible that unsecured guns may actually increase the likelihood of crime and violence through an increased risk of gun theft. Each year, an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 guns are stolen, and some are funneled into the underground market, where once-legally-owned firearms can be transferred to people with dangerous histories.
One study found that households that locked both firearms and ammunition were associated with a 78 percent lower risk of self-inflicted firearm injuries and an 85 percent lower risk of unintentional firearm injuries among children and teens, compared to those that locked neither. With guns being the number one killer of children and teens in the United States, students are forced to live in constant fear of gun violence. This resolution adopted by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board and persistently fought for by Students Demand Action volunteers is a prime example of how advocacy can lead to life-saving results.
If you would like to speak to a volunteer with a Students Demand Action volunteer who tirelessly fought for this resolution, please do not hesitate to reach out.