Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Have Gone School District to School District Urging School Boards Across the State to Include Information About Secure Firearm Storage
Albuquerque —The New Mexico chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety grassroots networks, applauded the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education vote to amend the student/parent handbook to include information about the secure storage of firearms. The move follows the advocacy of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and impacts 176 schools and more than 80,000 students in the Albuquerque Public School system who will now receive information on secure firearm storage – a critical step to keeping schools and students safe. The Santa Fe Public School District passed a similar resolution in 2020.
“No student should be afraid to go to school,” said Ivan Torres, a volunteer leader with Students Demand Action in New Mexico. “I’m grateful for my school district understanding the importance of sharing secure firearm storage information – and I look forward to advocating for the rest of our districts to follow their lead.”
“This is a huge milestone for Albuquerque parents and students,” said D. Baca, a volunteer leader with the New Mexico chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Requiring firearm secure storage in our school handbooks is a step in keeping our schools safe, but there is more work to be done to make sure guns stay out of school and out of kids’ hands. We will continue to go district by district until all children in New Mexico have a safe learning environment.”
Secure firearm storage reduces the risk of gun violence, particularly among children, by helping to prevent school shootings, unintentional shootings, and gun suicides. In 2021, Bennie Hargrove, a middle school student in an Albuquerque Public School, was shot and killed by another student who brought their father’s unsecured firearm to school. Earlier this year, state lawmakers failed to pass HB 9, also known as the Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act, which would have required firearms to be securely stored away from children, making it a crime to have a firearm accessible by a minor. A similar secure storage bill will be before the legislature in the upcoming 2023 legislative session.
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and supporters sent more than 1,100 messages to board members of the Albuquerque Public School Board to make sure they knew the importance of secure firearm storage notifications in preventing school gun violence and gun violence among children and teens.
Research shows that secure firearm storage practices are associated with reductions in the risk of self-inflicted and unintentional firearm injuries among children and teens. 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.
Over the past two years, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, have successfully urged school boards across the country to enact secure storage notification policies, encouraging parents to keep firearms stored locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunation, including school districts in Vermont, Texas, California, Arizona, Oregon and Colorado.This work is part of Everytown’s comprehensive approach to keeping schools safe from all forms of gun violence.
For more information or to talk with a New Mexico Moms Demand Action and/or Students Demand Action volunteer, please don’t hesitate to reach out.