NEW YORK – Today Everytown for Gun Safety released the following statement as the Federal Commission on School Safety led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos published its findings in a report in which the commission expresses support under certain circumstances for schools that choose to arm school personnel under certain circumstances, and advises against raising the age for gun purchases, but supports state passage of Red Flag laws and safe storage of firearms.
Red Flag laws empower family members and law enforcement officers to petition courts for temporary orders keeping guns out of the hands of individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others. Following reports that the Parkland shooter had displayed warning signs before the shooting, eight states passed red flag laws this year.
“This report is a mixed bag. When it comes to arming teachers, let’s be clear: Putting guns in classrooms will make our children less safe, and any suggestion to the contrary is blind to both the facts and common sense,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “However, we’re glad the commission supports safe storage of firearms and Red Flag laws, which keep guns away from people who are a danger to themselves or others. Congress and the states should back both those recommendations with legislation.”
“Putting more guns in our schools doesn’t make us any safer,” said Juliana Simone Carrasco, a Florida high school student and volunteer with Students Demand Action. “I don’t want teachers in my school to be armed — what I want is for our leaders to pass laws that keep guns out of the wrong hands in the first place. Instead of putting more guns in our schools, we should focus on real solutions like background checks on all gun sales and Red Flag laws.”
America’s teachers, school safety experts, and law enforcement oppose arming teachers. The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, the nation’s two largest organizations of education professionals, oppose allowing guns in schools, a position they reiterated after the Parkland shooting. Additionally, the National Association of School Resource Officers strongly opposes the proposal to arm teachers due to the risk it would pose to law enforcement, students, and the school community, as well as the risks to the armed teachers themselves.