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Guns in Schools


Guns in Schools

What is the problem?

We need meaningful strategies to keep our nation’s schools safe. School communities must be provided with the tools they need to intervene and prevent school-based gun violence.

It’s time for leaders to pursue the approaches that have been shown to be effective to keep guns out of schools. These approaches include addressing students’ health, empowering teachers and law enforcement to intervene if students show warning signs, improving schools’ physical security in a targeted way, and keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. We can’t let risky ideas, like arming teachers, dominate the debate on school safety. An armed teacher cannot transform into a specially-trained law enforcement officer in a moment of extreme duress.

Why is it an issue?

We can prevent gun violence in schools.

Safe schools are cornerstones of American communities—places where our children’s days are brightened and horizons are opened. Students and staff fear school shootings. From 2013 to 2019, Everytown identified 549 incidents of gunfire on school grounds. Of these, 347 occurred on the grounds of an elementary, middle, or high school, resulting in 129 deaths and 270 people wounded. This represents a small proportion of the nearly 3,500 children and teens shot and killed, and the more than 15,000 shot and wounded in this country every year. We need meaningful action to keep our schools safe—action that addresses what we know about gun violence in America’s schools and prevents it from occurring in the first place.

By the numbers

What are the solutions?