Congressman Auchincloss Urges DESE to Share Resources on Safe Gun Storage


Image from U.S. Department of Justice, "Safe Storage of Firearms: Unload it, Lock it, Store it."

On Tuesday, July 2nd, Congressman Jake Auchincloss (MA- 04) sent a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, urging Acting Commissioner Russell Johnston to share new, "potentially lifesaving information" from the Biden Administration regarding safe storage of firearms, keeping firearms out of the wrong hands, and away from children's access.

Congressman Auchincloss noted, "Research shows that that the majority of school shooters under the age of 18 obtained their firearms from their home or the home of a close relative or friend. When guns are securely stored, the risk of children and teenagers accessing them and potentially causing harm to themselves or others–whether intentionally or accidentally–significantly decreases. Proper storage is crucial for preventing tragedy and our schools can play a role in keeping our kids safe from the dangers of gun violence."

Some of the resources from the Biden Administration include a letter template for school districts to communicate with their students' families. The letter discusses the scope of firearm-related injuries and death, including at schools. It provides information on the effectiveness of safe firearm storage, and a link to the Safe Firearm Storage Fact Sheet.

Along with ideas for safe gun storage options, the fact sheet notes that, "In 2020, firearm-related injuries became the leading cause of injury deaths for children and teens ages 1-19," and that,"The majority of individuals who carried out a K-12 mass shooting obtained the firearms used in the shooting from a family member."

"The research on safe storage is clear - securely storing firearms saves lives. Massachusetts has long been a leader in requiring gun owners to store their firearms safely, but there is a lack of public education and awareness about these laws,” said Ruth Zakarin, CEO, Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.

In 2022, Westwood Public Schools performed community outreach on safe gun storage and hired its first Director of Safety and Security. The inaugural position was held by retired police chief Steve Trask, and is now held by retired police lieutenant Stephen Cronin.

Thanks to the Office of Congressman Jake Auchincloss for sharing this news with Westwood Minute.

You may also be interested in reading:

Congressman Jake Auchincloss on Pursuing Lower Costs, Gun Safety, and Defending Democracy

Safety Measures at Westwood Public Schools and a Perspective on Tragedies like Uvalde, Texas

American Gun Culture: Frontier Mythology Ignores How Common Gun Restrictions Were in Old West

Rep. Auchincloss Calls to Abolish Filibuster While Unveiling Gun Violence Prevention Legislation (published November 2021)

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