Unintentional Shootings Have Increased Since March, When More Children and Teens are Home During the Pandemic
Learn About How Secure Gun Storage Save Lives Here
The Texas chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after an unintentional shooting in Porter, Texas over the weekend. On Saturday, a 3-year-old boy gained access to an unsecured firearm and unintentionally shot and killed himself at his own birthday party.
“Our hearts break after news of this awful shooting, and we’re keeping this family in our thoughts,” said Christine Parker, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “With more children home during the pandemic, secure storage is more important than ever. There is so much at stake.”
Unintentional shootings by children increased as Americans sheltered in place during the COVID-19 crisis, an analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund shows. According to the #NotAnAccident Index, there were at least 35 gun deaths as a result of unintentional shootings by children from March to May 2020 — a 30% increase compared to average gun deaths during these same three months over the last three years. As of October 9, there have been at least 229 unintentional shootings by children, resulting in 97 deaths and 139 injuries in 2020.
Across the country, volunteers with Moms Demand Action advocate for the Be SMART program to inform community members on the simple steps we can all take to keep our families safe by keeping guns securely stored. The program asks parents and caretakers, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, to ‘Be SMART’ and take these simple steps:
- Secure all guns in homes and vehicles
- Model responsible behavior
- Ask about firearms in other homes your child visits
- Recognize the role of guns in suicide
- Tell your peers to Be SMART
Moms Demand Action volunteers are finding new ways to encourage secure gun storage in their communities during the pandemic, like distributing hundreds of pamphlets about secure storage in local food pantry care packages and submitting letters to the editor in local newspapers. Read more about those efforts here.