City of Baltimore Joins National Be SMART For Kids Campaign
Friday Dec 1st, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Friday, December 1, 2023) – Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced that the City of Baltimore is joining the growing list of cities around the country partnering with Everytown For Gun Safety Support Fund and Moms Demand Action to promote secure gun storage as part of the Be SMART for Kids campaign.
“Everytown and Moms Demand Action have always been crucial partners in our efforts to confront the gun violence epidemic, and we’re proud to join them in spreading this important message as part of our broader public safety work,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Far too often we see instances where irresponsible gun ownership has led to unnecessary loss of life, especially among our young people. This effort is about encouraging responsibility and spreading the word to ensure that we all do our part to protect our communities. Simply put, secure gun storage saves lives.”
The Be SMART campaign was launched in 2015 to promote responsible gun ownership in order to reduce child gun deaths. Be SMART is a framework that parents, caretakers, and community leaders can follow to help keep their communities safe using the SMART model:
- Secure all guns is homes and vehicles;
- Model responsible behavior around guns;
- Ask about unsecured guns in other homes;
- Recognize the role of guns in suicide;
- Tell peers to Be SMART and follow secure gun storage practices.
“Be SMART is proud to stand with Mayor Scott and the City of Baltimore to keep our kids safe,” said Darlene Cain, a volunteer with Be SMART in Baltimore. “Research shows that secure gun storage practices, including storing household guns unloaded, locked, and separate from ammunition, are critical to the safety of our children, teens and communities. Together with partners like the City of Baltimore, we know we can change the culture around gun safety by educating fellow adults and empowering communities with the tools needed to take these lifesaving steps.”
An estimated 4.6 million children in the United States live in a household with at least one unsecured, loaded firearm. Guns are the leading cause of death for American children and teens. The City of Baltimore’s 2021 Child Fatality Review Report found homicide to be the leading cause of child fatality, with 45 youth ages seven to 17 killed by a non-relative third party from 2016 to 2020 — 42 of these deaths were caused by gun violence. Additionally, the report found that 29% of suicide deaths and 5% of accidental deaths in the same time period were the result of the child having access to unsecured firearms in the home.
The City of Baltimore through The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE) will work with Everytown and Moms Demand Action to spread the word to Be SMART through social media using the hashtag #BeSMART and by sharing information at community events. Residents can follow MONSE on Twitter/X and Instagram @BaltimoreMONSE, Moms Demand Action @MomsDemand, Everytown @Everytown and @besmartforkids on Instagram.