NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety, along with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, Everytown’s grassroots networks, released the following statement celebrating its continued partnership with the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) around Be SMART – a program developed by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and Moms Demand Action which provides the tools necessary to raise awareness and encourage good decisions on gun storage.
“Parents, teachers, and students all know that we’re safer when gun owners store their guns securely – that means locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition,” said Alison Turner, a National PTA Board Member, Nevada PTA Vice-President for Advocacy, and a volunteer leader with Moms Demand Action in Nevada. “Our continued partnership with the PTA has allowed us to carry that lifesaving message far and wide, and we’re excited to keep working together to keep kids safe.”
As gun sales and gun violence have increased over the last year, so have unintentional shootings by children. This week, the National PTA One Voice blog published a post by Alison Turner, a National PTA Board Member, Nevada PTA Vice-President for Advocacy, and a volunteer leader with Moms Demand Action in Nevada, detailing the importance of the partnership between the two organizations in protecting children from gun violence. In the post Turner emphasizes how life-saving the Be SMART program can be:
“There is a simple way to reduce these shootings. Research shows that keeping firearms locked, unloaded, and separated from ammunition can save lives—especially the lives of those taken by unintentional shootings and gun suicides. In fact, a 2019 study estimated that if half of households with children switched from leaving their guns unlocked to securely 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.”
Read the entire post here.
Developed by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and Moms Demand Action, the Be SMART program helps parents and other adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries. National PTA was on board from the start, and continues to support the program’s success.
The program encourages parents and adults to:
- Secure all guns in their home and vehicles
- Model responsible behavior around guns
- Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes
- Recognize the role of guns in suicide
- Tell their peers to be SMART
During the pandemic, unintentional shootings by children have increased significantly, according to data from the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, the research and education arm of Everytown for Gun Safety. Research shows that to protect children and teens, gun owners should store guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition. Between March and December of 2020, there was a 31 percent increase in unintentional shooting deaths by children and an 18 percent increase in unintentional injuries, compared to the same time period in 2019.