SAN DIEGO–In recognition of Gun Violence Prevention Week, the San Diego Unified School District will send families of its more than100,000 students information on a new city law requiring anyone keeping guns in their home to secure their firearms, under a resolution going before the Board of Education Tuesday.
San Diego Unified is collaborating with San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott to raise awareness of firearm safety protocols.
At the urging of Board Vice President Richard Barrera, the resolution would increase outreach when it comes to gun safety and violence prevention by outlining steps to inform parents of the new Safe Storage of Firearms Ordinance, which was spearheaded by Elliott and took effect in September.
District leaders met with Elliott Tuesday to discuss common goals and gun safety initiatives.
“Gun violence may be a powerful force, but so are San Diego’s parents, guardians, and those who care about our children,” Elliott said. “What the public needs to know is that the safe storage of firearms is proven to save lives.”
Barrera and Superintendent Cindy Marten share the City Attorney’s commitment to reduce gun violence in the community through collaboration and outreach.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our students. City Attorney Mara Elliot has worked tirelessly to prevent children from having access to guns and to curb the needless accidents that occur when firearms are not properly stored in the home,” Barrera said. “I am thankful that the City Attorney shares our mission to protect children at school, at home, and throughout the community.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, firearm-related deaths in the United States are the second leading cause of injury-related deaths in children between the ages of 1 and 17. The City of San Diego’s Safe Storage Firearms law requires all residents to safely lock or store firearms inside their residences, unless the weapon is being carried on the body or in the immediate control of its owner or other authorized user.
Superintendent Marten is poised to share the Safe Storage of Firearms Ordinance with San Diego Unified families in the coming days if the resolution is approved by the trustees at their regular meeting tonight.
“Just as every school district in the nation must take the issue of gun violence seriously, all of our families must be serious about preventing gun tragedies in the home,” Marten said. ”That is why we plan to share news of the new San Diego Safe Storage Ordinance with all of our families.”
The board resolution includes daunting statistics about children and their access to firearms nationally and locally.
Educating gun owners is “a critical component of gun safety, in that an estimated 4.6 million children in the United States live in a home with unsecured firearms, and 73 percent of children ages 9 and under reported knowing the location of their parents firearms, and 36 percent of those children admitted that they had handled the firearms, including children whose parents had reported their children did not know the location of their firearms,” the resolution states.