STORE guns safely: unloaded and locked, with the ammunition locked separately. Hiding guns from kids is not enough and telling them not to touch guns is not enough. A three year old child has the strength to pull a trigger. (1) It is the gun owner’s responsibility to ensure that the gun does not pose a hazard to others, and, in California, an adult is criminally liable if a child gains access to his/her gun. (2)

REMOVE unwanted guns from your home to protect against misuse and theft. Most gun suicides are committed at home using the family gun. (3) Contact your local Police Department for the proper procedure to turn in unwanted guns.

ASK if there are guns at the homes where the children in your care visit. If there are, then make sure they are safely stored. Visit for more information. About 40% of homes with children have guns, and many are loaded and unlocked. (4)

LEARN the facts about guns and gun violence. The US leads the world in civilian gun ownership, (5) but all those guns don’t make us safer. Guns injure or kill 100,000 people in the US every year, (6) and the gun death rate in the US is higher than all other industrialized nations. (7)

SHARE information about guns and gun violence with your family, friends, colleagues, and social networks. Provide information and resources to those who are in a position to influence others such as health care providers, mental health providers, faith groups, educators, librarians, Democratic clubs and civic groups. Invite one of our Chapter speakers to your next meeting to give a free presentation.

TELL your elected officials that you support legislation to strengthen state and federal gun laws. Contact them by telephone, letter or email or by a personal visit. Contact them repeatedly at both their district and state/federal offices to voice your position. Attend Town Hall meetings. Keep the issue and your expectations before your elected officials. Be sure to thank them when they support common sense gun laws because they will be receiving many negative comments from pro-gun activists.

SUPPORT gun violence prevention advocacy groups with your time and/or money.

WRITE letters to the editor of your local paper. (

VOLUNTEER in election years to campaign for a candidate of your choice.

CELEBRATE and build on incremental successes. Gun violence prevention activists just like you got involved and made a difference! California has the strongest gun laws in the nation. Between 1990 and 2010, California reduced its firearm mortality rate by 52 % – 24 percentage points better than in the rest of the nation. (8)

(1) Naureckas SM et al. Children’s and women’s ability to fire handguns. Adolesc Med 1995 Dec;149(12): 1318-22
(3) http//
(5) Small Arms Survey Research Notes No. 9. Estimating Civilian Owned Firearms. Sept 2011
(7) Bangalore S and Messerli F. Gun ownership and firearm-related deaths. Am J of Med (2013) 126;873-876. http//
(8) Data source: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, WONDER online database.

Post courtesy of the Orange County Brady Campaign Chapter

Keeping Gun Violence Prevention on the Front Burner – What You Can Do
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