The California chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statements after the School Board of the Alameda Unified School District voted unanimously to approve a resolution that requires the Superintendent to create an appropriate letter, in English, Spanish and Chinese, to parents and guardians that explains the importance of secure gun storage, the state and local legal requirements, and how and where parents and guardians can voluntarily and safely dispose of unwanted firearms.
“Unintentional shootings are entirely preventable, and that starts with secure storage,” said Louise Reed, a volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We applaud the School Board of the Alameda Unified School District for prioritizing the importance of secure storage and making sure parents and guardians know the importance of these gun safety measures.”
“With students still at home from the coronavirus pandemic, the risk of unintentional shootings is elevated,” said Eden Bjornson, a volunteer with the Aliso Niguel High School Students Demand Action. “It’s more important than ever that parents and guardians in our lives are aware of the importance of keeping firearms locked, unloaded, and separate ammunition.”
With nearly 10,000 students, the Alameda Unified School District is the most recent large school system to proactively address secure firearm storage.
The vote comes on the heels of other school systems in Los Angeles, Denver, and Phoenix passing similar resolutions within the last few months. Currently, there are over 1 million students in school districts with secure storage resolutions in place. A recent NBC News story detailed the efforts of Moms Demand Action volunteers helping pass secure storage resolutions in school districts around the country.
In the majority of school gun violence incidents involving a shooter under the age of 18, the shooter obtained the gun from home, their relative’s home or from friends. Additionally, over 1,100 American children and teens die by firearm suicide each year and over 100 children and teens are unintentionally shot and killed. These numbers suggest that secure storage can be an effective tool in addressing gun violence among children and teens, as well as the source of guns used in school gun violence.
A 2019 study estimated that if half of households with children switched from leaving their guns unlocked to responsibly storing them all locked, one-third of youth gun suicides and unintentional deaths could be prevented – saving an estimated 251 lives in a single year.