As unintentional shootings by children increase as Americans shelter in place during the COVID-19 crisis, Moms Demand Action volunteers are finding new ways to encourage secure gun storage in their communities. After a tragic unintentional shooting of a 14-year-old girl by another teen in Jonesboro, Arkansas, volunteers with Moms Demand Action began discussing ways to spread the word about the importance of secure storage.
The result: hundreds of pamphlets about secure storage have been included in local food pantry care packages going out to the Jonesboro community. This effort is one of many new approaches Moms Demand Action is taking during the pandemic to amplify the voices of responsible gun owners and the secure storage practices they, along with experts, recommend.
Other efforts by Moms Demand Action to educate communities about Be SMART, Everytown’s secure storage program, include:
- Securing the endorsement of the Be SMART program by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
- Making more than 100 masks and Be SMART materials to distribute to a senior living facility in Gainesville, Florida.
- Highlighting Be SMART in the San Diego County Suicide Prevention Resource Guide and in the San Diego County Resource Guide for Schools.
- Submitting countless letters to the editor, spreading the Be SMART message in states including Maine, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Tennessee, and North Dakota.
In April, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund unveiled a new PSA elevating its Be SMART program and secure gun storage. Federal lawmakers, state elected officials, mayors, treasurers and law enforcement have all promoted the Be SMART message during the pandemic. Most recently, Oregon Governor Kate Brown released her own PSA about secure gun storage and the Be SMART program.
Unintentional shooting deaths by children have increased by 43% in March and April, compared to average unintentional gun deaths by children during these same two months in recent years. If you’re interested in speaking with Moms Demand Action volunteers about these efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out.