CA Brady Campaign Applauds CA Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson for Bold Firearms Safe Storage Letter | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

CA Brady Campaign Applauds CA Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson for Bold Firearms Safe Storage Letter

THE BRADY CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Shikha Hamilton
CA Campaign Manager
shamilton [at] bradymail [dot] org

CA Brady Campaign Applauds CA Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson for Bold Firearms Safe Storage Letter

SACRAMENTO -- On May 13, 2015, California Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) Tom Torlakson sent a letter to all California school districts, charter schools, and private school coordinators urging the administrators to embark on an education campaign for the safe storage of any firearm(s) in the home. The California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence applaud SPI Torlakson and the California Department of Education (CDE) for this effort to prevent school shootings by educating parents and guardians about California’s child access prevention laws.

“We applaud State Superintendent Tom Torlakson for taking this bold step to help prevent school shootings by urgently requesting that all California school administrators educate parents and guardians regarding their responsibility to safely store any firearm(s) in the home,” said Peggy McCrum, President of the California Brady Campaign Chapters. “Keeping our children safe is a shared responsibility that starts with educating parents and guardians about proper, responsible storage of any firearm(s) in the home. The CDE is serving as a model to other states for how we can best protect our students by ensuring that California schools remain thriving places of knowledge free from gun violence.”

SPI Torlakson stated in the letter: “When it comes to gun violence, schools cannot do it alone. The California Department of Education and the education community are dedicated to making our schools the safest in the nation, but it is the responsibility of parents and guardians to store firearms according to California law.”

Studies of school shootings show that 68% of school shooters acquired the guns from their own home, or that of a relative. The California Healthy Kids Survey 2011-2013 (self-reporting) of grades 7, 9 and 11 identified 3% of the population of each grade level had carried a gun on school property 2 or more times. The State of California has had child access prevention laws on the books since 1992. Most recently, AB 231 (Ting) went into effect in 2014. It makes someone criminally liable if they negligently store or leave any loaded firearm on their premises where a child is likely to gain access to it – whether or not it is brought into a public space.

Attachments: SPI Torlakson letter of May 13, 2015; Sample memos in English and Spanish

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As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, with its dedicated network of California Chapters, works to enact and enforce sensible gun laws, regulations and public policies. The Brady Campaign is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.