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St. Louis School Shooting Brings to Light Missed Opportunities to Prevent Gun Deaths and Injuries

Washington, D.C., October 28, 2022 – The school shooting that occurred on Monday morning at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, Missouri, is raising fresh questions about relevant, common-sense policies and actions that could have been taken to prevent the deaths of a teacher and student and injuries to seven students.

Brady, a national gun violence prevention group, and Team ENOUGH, Brady’s youth-led activist arm, are actively involved in gun-violence prevention efforts in many states across the nation.

Many sectors play a vital role in ensuring that the right questions are asked after tragedies such as this. Brady urges the press, politicians, and law enforcement to ask the following questions in the wake of these events:

  • The gunman’s mother reportedly contacted St. Louis police days before the incident to have the gun taken away from her son, motivated by concern over his dangerous and risky behavior. But Missouri law does not currently allow for “extreme risk protection orders” (ERPOs), and the gun was transferred to a third party known to the family. An ERPO could have prevented the shooter from re-procuring that gun. Why hasn’t the Missouri legislature taken steps to pass an extreme risk law, such as those that exist in 19 other states and D.C.?
  • How did the gunman get the firearm back from the third party? Had the ammunition been stored with the third party as well? Were the gun and ammunition properly stored, meaning locked and unloaded with the ammunition separate from the firearm?

Brady President Kris Brown said: “Our hearts break for all of the families affected by this terrible tragedy, and the community at large. This was the 559th mass shooting and the 40th school shooting of 2022. Sadly, it appears that the gunman’s family had taken steps to get help for their son and to keep the firearm out of his hands. We need to ask ourselves, what additional laws and policies could have helped prevent this all too familiar scenario?”

“We know that each case has its nuances, but we believe there are common-sense laws and policies that can prevent such incidents, and we’re eager to work with partners in Missouri to advocate for these solutions,” Brown added.

“While we are all shocked by this senseless act of violence in another school, the ease of access to firearms makes it all too common,” said Robert Schentrup, Team ENOUGH Organizing Manager. “Gun violence is the leading cause of death among young people. We must demand action from our elected officials and pass common-sense gun laws to keep our communities safe.”

If you or anyone you know needs mental health help, contact the Behavioral Health Response 24/7/365 Crisis Line & Youth Connection Helpline at 9-8-8, or call (314) 469-6644 or (314) 819-8802 for youth.

The St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission also offers resources.

NOTE TO REPORTERS: Brady’s experts on gun-violence law and policy, and our local activists, are available for interviews about this incident.

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.

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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.


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