Gun Violence Prevention

Providing students and staff with a safe educational environment remains our top priority

February 8, 2022

Dear Fairfax County Public Schools Parent/Guardian:

Providing students and staff with a safe educational environment remains our top priority. Sadly, gun violence continues to impact schools and communities across our nation.

As you may be aware, lessons on gun safety are already built into our curriculum; however, I would like to take this opportunity to remind all parents and guardians about the importance of talking to children about gun safety and safe gun storage in your homes, and any homes that your children may visit.

An estimated 4.6 million children in the U.S. live in households with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm. A recent study found that about one in three gun owners store their weapons loaded and unlocked.

Virginia law requires gun owners to store firearms where a child is unlikely to gain access.

Every year, nearly 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else. That is roughly one unintentional shooting every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that another 700 children die each year by gun suicide. In the overwhelming majority of these incidents, the gun used was one that belonged to someone in their home.

A recent Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center study of targeted school violence incidents from 2008 to 2017, found that 76 percent of the firearms used in gun violence incidents at schools were obtained from the home of a parent/guardian or close relative.

Research shows that secure firearm storage is associated with up to an 85 percent reduction in the risk of self-inflicted and unintentional firearm injuries among children and teens.

For more information on secure firearm storage, please review these resources from the U.S. Department of Justice or see the gun safety and storage resources page on the FCPS website.

Keeping students, teachers, and staff safe from the threat of gun violence should be the responsibility of all stakeholders within our school communities.

 

Sincerely,

Scott S.Brabrand

Superintendent