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More Than 1.5 Million Students Nationwide Now Attend Schools With Firearm Storage Awareness Policy

6.29.2021

Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Have Urged School Boards Across the Country to Pass Resolutions Requiring Schools to Educate Parents About Secure Firearm Storage 

Up to 80% of School Shooters under the Age of 18 Obtain Their Gun From the Home

In 2015, Moms Demand Action Launched the Be SMART Secure Firearm Storage Awareness Campaign; The Danger of Unsecured Guns in the Home has Grown with the Rise in Gun Sales

NEW YORK — More than 1.5 million students across the country now live in a school district that requires schools to educate parents about the critical importance of secure firearm storage in keeping schools and students safe, after the Clark County School District in Nevada became the latest to pass a secure storage resolution on Thursday. 

Over the past two years, volunteers with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, have successfully urged school boards across the country to enact such notification policies, 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.

“Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers will take the fight to keep schools and communities safe everywhere, from statehouses to school boards and more,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “With gun sales on the rise and more than 4.6 million children in homes with unsecured weapons, their tireless work to make sure all gun owners store their guns securely is more important than ever.”

“One of the reasons that I ran for school board was because I wanted to make our schools a safer place, and the secure storage policy I helped pass will do just that,” said Linda Cavazos, a volunteer with the Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action, a gun violence survivor, and the President of the Clark County School Board. “And as the new school year approaches, I hope school districts across the country will listen to the experts and add to the 1.5 million students going to school in districts committed to sharing this lifesaving information with families.”

“Policies that require schools to tell parents about secure storage help keep students like me safe,” said Maddie Ahmadi, a volunteer leader with Students Demand Action in Essex who helped enact secure storage notification policies in the Essex Westford and Champlain Valley School Districts. “That’s why I fought so hard to get my school and others to share this lifesaving information, and that’s why I’ll keep fighting alongside my fellow volunteers until every gun owner knows how important it is to store their guns securely.”

Unintentional shootings by children have increased over the course of the pandemic. Between March and December of 2020, there was a 32 percent increase in unintentional shooting deaths by children of themselves and others and an 18 percent increase in unintentional injuries, compared to the same time period in 2019.

An estimated 4.6 million American children live in homes with at least one gun that is loaded and unlocked. Every year, hundreds of American children gain access to firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else. Secure firearm storage plays a vital role in reducing unintentional shootings and gun suicide. 

Secure firearm storage in the home is also one of the most effective tools to prevent gun violence in schools. According to research from the U.S. Secret Service, up to 80% of school shooters obtain their gun from their home or the home of relatives or friends. More information

about the role that secure storage can play in preventing school shooting tragedies is available here
Moms Demand Action volunteers have long advocated for secure firearm storage. In 2015, Moms Demand Action launched the Be SMART campaign to raise awareness that responsible gun storage – storing guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition – can save children’s lives. Today, there are thousands of Be SMART volunteers active across all 50 states.