Today, the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Tucson Unified School District voted unanimously to approve a resolution that directs the Superintendent to work with local law enforcement, the Mayor’s Office for the City of Tucson and health agencies to create and distribute secure firearm storage training materials, and increase efforts to inform the district. With this vote, there are over 1 million students in school districts with secure storage resolutions in place.
“Tucson families need to know the dangers of leaving unsecured firearms at home,” said Erika Khwaja, a volunteer with the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We’re proud to see the Tucson Unified School District join Phoenix Union High School District in passing this resolution and helping educate our neighbors on secure storage practices.”
With nearly 50,000 students, the Tucson 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. 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 1000 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.