For years, Moms Demand Action volunteers have advocated for gun violence prevention policies at the state and federal level. Now, they’re bringing the fight from the Statehouse to the school board, as reported by NBC News.
Volunteers across several states have successfully urged school boards to implement policies that educate parents on the importance of secure firearm storage to prevent gun violence in schools. Research shows that a vast majority of those who perpetrate gun violence in schools access their gun from the home.
NBC News’ Tyler Kingkade writes:
“[D]riven by activists like [Donna] Finkelstein with the groups Women Against Gun Violence and Moms Demand Action — several other school districts have passed similar policies asking parents to sign letters saying they know why it’s important to keep guns securely stored. Last Thursday, the Phoenix Union High School District became the latest to enact a policy that mirrors the Los Angeles one, and St. Louis Public Schools will vote on a similar proposal Tuesday. In addition, five school districts in Southern California, as well as Denver Public Schools, have launched secure gun storage awareness campaigns.
The quick spread of these policies without much resistance has largely gone unnoticed, but experts say it could be one of the most effective approaches to curb all sorts of firearm-related dangers, especially school shootings. Activists argue that the recent school board votes demonstrate the power parents have in their own communities to lobby local politicians who are often overlooked in the national debate about gun control and could inspire more gun safety measures at the city or state level.
‘This is a really good example of something a school can do without needing any act of Congress,’ said Jillian Peterson, a criminal justice professor at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and co-founder of The Violence Project, a federally funded research initiative.
Proposals requiring secure storage at home are also generally popular. A 2019 survey by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research found most gun owners agree that people who buy a firearm for the first time should have to take a safety course on safe handling and storage of the weapon.
‘Every parent can make sure any gun they have in their own home is secured, and every parent can speak to another parent and ask if they have guns, and if so are they stored safely,’ said Jessica Stamen, a mother of three who was one of the Moms Demand Action volunteers to lobby the Los Angeles Unified School District about secure storage.
‘I think as the gun safety movement has matured we’ve started to see the power in working a little more locally,’ said Abbey Winter, a Moms Demand Action chapter leader in Denver.”
Information about keeping schools safe‚ including the role that secure storage can play in preventing tragedies, is available here. Moms Demand Action volunteers and Everytown policy experts are available for interviews.