San Diego Unified School District parents posed for a picture outside the school board auditorium Tuesday with San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott, celebrating what they considered a victory for students and gun safety.
Among the people taking the picture was Rebecca Ordas, a mother of two teenage daughters in the school district who is thankful the school board voted unanimously to team up with the City Attorney’s office to educate parents on the recently-passed Safe Storage Firearms Ordinance.
It’s especially helpful for parents like Ordas who worries about her daughters while at school and when they’re visiting other people’s homes.
“I ask about the presence of unlocked guns in other people’s homes before they go and visit," she said.
Ordas agrees it's an uncomfortable question, but not when you consider the statistics from the City Attorney’s office which note 4.5 million kids live in homes with one or more loaded and unlocked firearm.
Wendy Wheatcroft, District 7 City Council candidate and former North County teacher, knows the dangers all too well.
“A kindergartner brought a gun in their backpack one day," she recounted.
The San Diego School Board's vote gives them the green-light to start emailing a letter to the parents of the more than 100,00 students in the district informing them of the city's "Safe Storage Firearms Ordinance" that went into effect last September.
It requires people to safely store guns in lock boxes or with trigger locks.
Though it's a law that's hard to enforce, the goal of teaming up is to help educate families in hopes of reducing unauthorized access to guns in the home — whether that be from people with dementia, felons or children.
“The intent is for people to handle responsibly and do it in a way that does not endanger others,” explained City Attorney Mara Elliott.
School board members and the City Attorney are hoping the law will help decrease the number of teen suicides, as well as accidental deaths and injuries.
The letter alerts parents about the law is supposed to go out this week.
The board’s vote also adopted a resolution naming February 10-14, 2020 Gun Violence Prevention Week.