Washington, D.C., June 21, 2020 - Today, Brady marks the 20th annual Asking Saves Kids (ASK) Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of unintentional shootings and unsecured guns in the home and mobilizing every person — gun owners and non-gun owners alike — to prevent family fire.
Started following the Million Mom March in 2000, ASK Day encourages all parents, guardians, and caretakers to have open conversations about guns in the home. While typically correlating with the start of summer when more minors are home from school, the risk of unintentional shootings is particularly acute this year following a surge in gun purchases in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As parents and guardians ask family and friends about safety measures related to coronavirus, Brady asks them to remember that simply asking if a gun is stored safely can save a life.
Every year, June 21 (the first day of summer) is #ASKDay. As cities reopen and kids start visiting friends and family again, make sure to ask, "Is there is an unlocked gun in the home?" It could save a life.— Kris Brown (@KrisB_Brown) June 16, 2020
Learn more at https://t.co/qJcdDUAYjL. #EndFamilyFire #EndGunViolence pic.twitter.com/ZLT8cJjAfZ
Brady President Kris Brown explained:
“This spring, we saw many Americans purchase millions of firearms in response to uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, with many reports indicating that many of these were first time buyers. This summer, as more states loosen quarantine restrictions and children and teens begin to move about more freely, we must be cognizant of the risk that these guns pose in the home. Before the coronavirus pandemic, an estimated eight children and teens were injured or killed by family fire every day across the country. With millions more guns in homes across the country, this risk is even more acute and parents and guardians must be prepared to ask other adults who will be interacting with their children if there are guns in the home and if they’re stored safely. Such a simple act, though it may feel awkward, keeps all of our children safe - a goal that we all share.”
ASK Day recognizes a simple truth: asking about safety is important and something parents are doing already. When a child is dropped off at a friends’ house, parents will ask and share many details about safety. Just as we ask about life-threatening allergies or other risk factors, families can normalize honest conversations about guns in the home. Asking, and the inverse of volunteering information about how your guns are safely stored, helps create common trust and ensure that all of our children are safe from unintentional shootings.
Facts About Unintentional Shootings:
- Every day, 8 children and teens are unintentionally injured or killed due to an unlocked or unsupervised gun in the home.
- 4.6 million children live in homes with access to an unlocked or unsupervised gun.
- One study showed that over 70 percent of children reported knowing the storage location of the household firearm.
- 1 in 5 parents who reported that their child had never handled the household firearm were contradicted by their child’s report.
- Among children, 89% of unintentional shooting deaths occur in the home.
- A relatively modest increase in safe storage — locking all household firearms — could reduce firearm suicide and unintentional firearm fatalities among youth by up to 32%.
- Keeping guns locked and unloaded reduces the risk of unintentional shooting deaths and gun suicides among youth by 73 percent.
About ASK Day:
Launched in 2000 by the Million Mom March, ASK Day is a marquee component of the ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Campaign. Developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the ASK Campaign is a nationwide effort to educate parents about the significant risks of children having access to guns in the home. It provides every parent, whether they own a gun or not, with something real they can do to make children safer by simply asking if there are unlocked guns in the homes where their children play.
About End Family Fire:
With more than 4.6 million children living in homes with access to an unlocked or unsupervised gun, a number that has grown since the pandemic, End Family Fire, a joint effort from Brady and the Ad Council, aims to put a name to the preventable tragedies that occur when these guns are misused. “Family fire,” a term developed for the campaign, refers to a shooting involving an improperly stored or misused gun found in the home that results in death or injury. Incidents may include unintentional shootings, suicides, and other gun-related tragedies. The campaign aims to bring awareness to the issue of family fire, give gun owners a role in gun violence prevention, and encourage a national dialogue around safe storage practices—all of which can help prevent family fire.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.