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National PTA and Everytown for Gun Safety Announce New Collaboration in the Fight to Protect Kids from Gun Violence

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Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
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Groups release new research findings that show children experiencing gun violence at school leads parents’ concerns, ranking higher than concerns over academics and curriculum    

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 7, 2024)—With firearm injury now the leading cause of death for children under the age of 19, National PTA and Everytown for Gun Safety have joined forces to help protect children and youth from gun violence and save lives. Through the alliance, National PTA and Everytown will develop tools and resources to empower parent leaders nationwide to influence policy and planning decisions related to gun violence prevention and school safety and preparedness. The announcement of the alliance was made during National PTA’s 2024 Legislative Conference in the nation’s capital.

“For far too long, we have been at a crisis point. No parent should fear for the safety of their child every time they leave home for school or anywhere else. And no child should live in fear wondering if a shooting could happen at their school,” said Yvonne Johnson, president of National PTA. “We are stronger together, and we appreciate the opportunity to join forces with Everytown for Gun Safety to advocate at all levels—and on both sides of the aisle—to protect our children and youth from gun violence and save lives.”

As part of the alliance, National PTA and Everytown commissioned a national survey exploring parents’ mindsets around school safety and gun violence prevention and policy. The survey, conducted in February 2024 by Edge Research, included over 1,000 parents and guardians with children in grades K-12 in public schools nationwide. Key findings of the survey show:

  • Their child experiencing gun violence at school leads parents’ concerns, ranking higher than concerns over academics and curriculum. Fifty-seven percent of parents surveyed reported they worry a lot or somewhat about their child experiencing gun violence at school, compared with 39% of parents reporting they worry a lot or somewhat about their child being behind academically and 34% of parents reporting they worry a lot or somewhat about their child being taught topics they disagree with.
  • Most parents strongly support gun safety policies. Ninety-one percent of parents surveyed indicated they strongly or somewhat support requiring criminal background checks of individuals on all gun sales including online and at gun shows. Eighty-nine percent of parents surveyed reported they strongly or somewhat support increasing funding to enhance the physical safety of school buildings, as long as it does not negatively impact the learning environment. Sixty-eight percent of parents reported they strongly or somewhat support banning the sale, manufacture and purchase or transfer of assault weapons.
  • Nearly three-quarters of public-school parents feel gun laws should be made stronger, with 74% of parents surveyed indicating they feel this.
  • Gun safety is important to most parents and over two-thirds would vote for the candidate who supports strengthening gun safety laws. Seventy-two percent of parents surveyed indicated the importance of a candidate’s position on guns is extremely or pretty important when deciding who to vote for. Sixty-nine percent of parents indicated they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports strengthening gun safety laws, over one who opposes more restrictions on guns.
  • When it comes to gun violence prevention at schools, 46% of parents surveyed indicated they rate their child’s school excellent or very good on preparedness to prevent and address gun violence at school. Sixty-nine percent of parents surveyed reported their school has a safety plan to prevent gun violence, but only 44% of those parents who know their school has such a plan indicated they were asked for input or feedback on the plan.

“For parents, keeping their kids safe from gun violence isn’t about right or left—it’s about life or death, and they want lawmakers to reach across the aisle and pass common-sense gun safety laws,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Everytown is proud to partner with National PTA to develop a plan of action that parents and educators can use to keep guns out of their schools and make sure our kids come home unharmed every day."

"We send our kids to school to learn to read and do math, not duck and cover from gunfire,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “We're proud to partner with the PTA because there is nothing more important than our kids coming home safe every day. Bipartisan lawmakers in Washington and back home must stand on the side of safety for our kids.”

This week, PTA leaders from across the country met with their members of Congress to advocate for common sense solutions to gun violence during National PTA’s 2024 Legislative Conference. Specifically, they urged their members of Congress to pass legislation ensuring the secure storage of firearms to prevent access by children, pass the GOSAFE Act and the Assault Weapons Ban, and pass the Background Check Expansion Act and the Bipartisan Background Checks Act.

“The enactment of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in summer 2022 was a significant step forward, but it is not enough to ensure our children’s safety from gun violence,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “PTA members across the country have played a critical role in advocating for common sense solutions to gun violence. It remains a top priority of our association to prevent and eliminate gun violence, promote the safety and well-being of all children, and ensure every child has every opportunity to reach their full potential. We will never stop speaking loudly and demanding more for every child and young person across our country.” 

About the Survey

The online survey was conducted by Edge Research among a nationwide sample of 1,047 parents and guardians with children in grades K-12 in public school. The survey was fielded in English and Spanish from Feb. 13-26, 2024. Data were weighted to be representative of public-school parents in the U.S.

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.

About Everytown for Gun Safety

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund (“Everytown for Gun Safety”) is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than ten million supporters and more than 700,000 donors including moms, mayors, survivors, students, and everyday Americans who are fighting for common-sense gun safety measures that can help save lives. Learn more at www.everytown.org and follow us @Everytown.

About Moms Demand Action

Moms Demand Action is the nation’s largest grassroots volunteer network working to end gun violence. Moms Demand Action is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization with more than ten million supporters and more than 700,000 donors. Moms Demand Action campaigns for new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our families, educates policymakers and parents about the importance of secure firearm storage and works to create a culture of gun safety through partnerships with businesses, community organizations and influencers. There is a Moms Demand Action chapter in every state of the country and more than 700 local groups across the country. For more information or to get involved visit MomsDemandAction.org. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/MomsDemandAction, on Twitter at @MomsDemand and download our DemandAction app at MomsDemandAction.org/app.