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Women’s National Basketball Players Association Supports Everytown for Gun Safety’s Be SMART Program with PSA to Encourage Secure Gun Storage Amid Uptick In Unintentional Shootings by Children


Every Year, at least 350 Children In America Gain Access To A Firearm And Unintentionally Shoot Themselves Or Someone Else, Averaging Roughly One Per Day, With Predictable Peak During Summer Break

NEW YORK  This summer has once again been riddled by senseless acts of gun violence, including a surge in preventable, unintentional shootings by children. Since May 1, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has tracked more than 100 unintentional shootings by children — the most recorded during this period since Everytown started tracking in 2015. That’s an average of more than one per day. 

In light of this tragic trend, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has today unveiled a new public service announcement featuring members of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA). In the PSA, current and former WNBA players from across the country urge adults to practice responsible gun ownership by securely storing firearms at home and in vehicles to prevent unintentional shootings, youth suicides and other tragedies that can happen when kids and teens have easy access to guns. The PSA was produced in collaboration with Everytown’s Be SMART program, a framework designed to help parents and adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions to prevent child gun deaths and injuries.

“When powerhouse athletes use their platforms to speak out, they add to the groundswell of advocates who are hustling for a culture of gun safety,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “Today’s call to action from the WNBA community has only made the gun safety movement that much stronger. It’s critical that adults learn the simple steps that everyone can take to prevent gun violence, gun owners and non-gun owners alike.”

“The WNBPA is once again demonstrating what it means to be leaders and create positive change both on and off the court,” said Terri Jackson, executive director of the WNBPA. “With thousands of children and families coming together over the summer, and increasing instances of unintentional shootings making headlines across the country, adults need to understand that secure gun storage is not up for debate. It is an essential element of responsible gun ownership and child safety.”

Research shows that approximately 4.6 million children live in a household with at least one gun that is stored while loaded and unlocked. An overwhelming majority of unintentional shootings by children could have been prevented had the gun been stored securely, which means making sure guns are always inaccessible to kids and unauthorized users. The most effective way to prevent an unintentional child shooting is to store firearms unloaded, locked by a cable lock or gun safe, and separate from ammunition. Guns are not stored securely when they’re placed in an unlocked dresser, nightstand drawer, or closet, on a high shelf or on top of the refrigerator, or under a couch cushion, mattress, or pillow.

Be SMART, a program of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, 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 your peers to be SMART

All across the country, volunteers, community partners, law enforcement officials, trusted experts in caregiving, gun owners and non-gun owners alike are coming together in a push to advocate for secure firearm storage. With support from the WNBPA, the Be SMART program will continue to reach new audiences, keeping children and families safe. 

For more information on secure firearm storage and the most effective ways to protect children from unsecured firearms, visit Additional information about unintentional shootings by children can be found here and here