The Washington chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement celebrating the Spokane Public Schools Board’s vote to pass a resolution commiting the district to send home Be SMART information on the importance of securely storing firearms for parents and caretakers. The resolution was championed by Moms Demand Action volunteers who dedicated countless hours to educating and organizing.
“The Spokane Public Schools’ decision to be the first school board in the state to pass a secure firearm storage resolution is a huge victory for students, schools, and the Spokane community,” said Petra Hoy, a volunteer with the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action, “We are proud that our schools are prioritizing student and school safety. This decision will save lives, and we hope it will inspire other school districts in Washington to follow suit.”
The resolution formalizes the School Board’s commitment to keeping students safe from gun violence. Spokane is the first school district in the state of Washington to pass a secure firearm storage notification. Now, over 30,000 students in Washington will go to schools where information about secure firearm storage is required to be shared with parents and guardians.
Secure firearm storage in homes is one of the most effective tools to keep children and teens safe from gun violence. According to research, up to 76% of school shooters obtain their gun from their home or the home of relatives. In addition, research shows that secure firearm storage also plays a vital role in reducing unintentional shootings and gun suicide. Every year, hundreds of American children gain access to firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else. Over the past decade, the firearm suicide rate among young people has increased faster than in any other age group, and today, it’s at a near all-time high.
Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund’s Be SMART program helps to educate communities across the country about the importance of secure firearm storage. Over the past three years, volunteers with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, have impacted millions of students by urging school boards across the country to educate parents and caretakers about the critical importance of responsible gun ownership and secure firearm storage. This work is part of Everytown’s comprehensive approach to keeping schools safe from all forms of gun violence. More information on the role that secure storage can play in helping prevent gun violence is available here.
In an average year in Washington, 810 people die and an additional 875 people are wounded by guns. Gun violence costs Washington $11.9 billion each year, of which $171.7 million is paid by taxpayers.. More information about Washington’s gun laws are available here.