printed 05/08/2020


In response to the schools being closed in Maryland, countless children and teens are home for an indefinite amount of time.

As parents, we’re prioritizing keeping our kids safe from the effects and spread of covid-19, but we also must prioritize keeping them safe in our own homes.

An estimated 4.6 million children in the U.S. live in a household with at least one gun that is stored loaded and unlocked. It’s up to us as adults to make sure guns are securely stored so that curious children and vulnerable teens cannot get a hold of them while home from school.

And for those of us that do not own guns, we need to make sure our community is aware of the precautions we should take while kids are home, especially when it comes to securing guns.

There’s a lot that parents have to juggle as we deal with school closures and increased precautions around covid-19 that affect us all. But we can’t wait for another completely preventable, unintentional shooting by a child or a teen dying by gun suicide to be a wake-up call—we all need to take action now.

The “Be SMART” program was created to keep unsecured guns out of the hands of children and teens.

We encourage parents and caretakers to “Be SMART” and take these simple steps to help prevent unintentional shootings:

Secure all guns in homes and vehicles.

Model responsible behavior.

Ask about firearms in other homes your child visits.

Recognize the role of guns in suicide.

Tell your peers to Be SMART.

Let's all do our part to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, including our children’s, and Be SMART.

Nanci Osborne

Ocean Pines

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