The MSU Board of Trustees acts to fortify gun-safety


The MSU Board of Trustees approved an amendment to the university’s Firearms and Weapons Ordinance at their first meeting of the 2023-2024 academic year.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Members of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees approved an amendment to the university’s Firearms and Weapons Ordinance on Sept. 8. 

The amendment came as a way for the board to ensure “consistency and clarity” in gun-safety measures for the MSU community and its visitors after a deadly shooting which occurred back in February.

Michigan court rulings state that universities can enact measures to ensure gun safety on their campuses and are not prevented from doing so by other state laws. 

MSU’s current ordinance was established in 1964 and states that no person, with the exception of law enforcement, can carry a concealed firearm in buildings owned or governed by the university. In addition to this, MSU doesn’t allow the open carry of a firearm. 

Under existing student and employee policies at the university, students, faculty and staff cannot have a firearm on campus even with a valid permit. 

The board’s new amendment was made to fortify the existing gun-safety measures by ensuring that only certified law enforcement officers and those with an approved educational or research purpose to possess a firearm on MSU’s grounds.  

The revisions also add an exception for individuals fully qualified to carry a concealed weapon, under Michigan law, while they’re operating a motor vehicle on a road owned by MSU, as long as they remain inside their vehicle. 

“MSU’s firearms ordinance already included comprehensive gun-safety measures for those who are part of the university community,” said MSU Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “We see this amendment as a necessary action in our ongoing effort to create a safer environment for Spartans to learn and live, and to ensure those visiting our campuses adhere to the same requirements we set forward for students and employees.”

The revised ordinance is in effect as of the Sept. 8 board meeting. 

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California May Tax Gun Sales To Fund School Safety


Sacramento, CA — Lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly have voted to impose an 11% tax on the sales of guns and ammunition.

Governor Gavin Newsom has until October 14 to decide whether to sign the bill. The tax would match the highest current federal taxes already placed on gun sales.

California has existing fees on gun sales totaling around $37 and the money is mostly used to cover the costs of background checks. If signed by the Governor, the new tax would take effect on July 1 and raise an estimated $159 million in annual revenue. The money would be split between a violence prevention grant program and the California Department of Education for safety enhancement efforts at public schools. It would pay for schools to do safety assessments and make physical security improvements.

Of note, the 11% federal tax goes toward hunter-safety and wildlife programs.

Governor Newsom has not indicated yet whether he will sign the new tax into law.

It is opposed by groups like the California Rifle and Pistol Association.

Democratic leaders in the legislature argued that California needs to lead the country on gun regulations.

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School Safety Is About So Much More Than Just Gun Control


Schools should be places where our kids feel safe, learn about themselves and their communities, and get the support they need to discover and pursue their passions. We must work together as a community to ensure the safety of our kids as they head back to school this fall. If one child feels unsafe, it can have catastrophic consequences for the school and community.

As a former middle school principal and lifelong educator, Iʼve seen firsthand how the evolution of our schools into testing assembly lines, book banning battle grounds, and prison pipelines hurts our kids. As our students head back to the classroom, itʼs time for us to work together to revolutionize their schools to prioritize their holistic safety.

Consider the state of our schools today: Young people are facing a mental health emergency and a lifetime threatened by the climate crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened our educator shortage. Toxic facilities and crumbling public school infrastructure endanger studentsʼ health and wellbeing. And unprecedented gun violence and hate make our classrooms feel more unsafe than ever.

Rep. Jamal Bowman with schoolchildren
Rep. Jamaal Bowman at his first annual Youth Conference in New Rochelle
Emma Simon

Students, parents, and educators are clear-eyed about the urgency of this problem. But instead of addressing them, Republicans are espousing hateful rhetoric toward LGBTQ+ youth. They are banning books, attacking evidence-based and truthful teaching practices, and cutting funding for public education. And they are blocking common sense gun reform.

They’re making themselves explicitly clear: They donʼt want to keep our kids safe.

True education is a process of self-discovery and a source of freedom. Schools can and should be about more than just test scores and academics; they should be the nursery of our love for ourselves and each other, and the foundation of a democracy that works for all of us.

But young people canʼt discover the joy and power in learning in spaces where they do not feel safe, seen, and supported.

To ensure they feel safe, we have to holistically address studentsʼ (and educatorsʼ!) physical, emotional, and environmental safety. This starts with taking on the most fatal crisis facing our students: gun violence. Guns are the leading cause of death for children in America. As a principal, I stood outside the cafeteria every day during lunch to make sure my students were safe. Common sense gun reform would ensure no one can walk into a school and commit a senseless act of violence against our babies.

Gun violence is only part of the equation. Our kidsʼ physical safety also encompasses the environment they learn in. Our schools are falling apart, and redlined communities have been hit the hardest. How can we expect our kids to learn when they donʼt even have clean air to breathe in their classrooms?

Rep. Jamal Bowman with schoolchildren
Rep. Jamaal Bowman at the Yonkers Library Reading Buddies Program teaching a student
Emma Simon

Students need fresh food, green spaces, and intentionally designed infrastructure to promote their wellbeing and educational growth. Imagine if we transformed our public schools into palaces that serve as the center of our communal life and guide us into a resilient future.

To do this, we need my Green New Deal for Public Schools, which would invest in public schools as a sustainable public good, a safe space for every student and family, and a teaching lab for the next generation of STEM visionaries.

As the bill makes clear, school safety is about much more than protecting our kids from physical violence and crumbling infrastructure—because they deserve more. They deserve to discover their innate brilliance and have their minds be safe and cared for.

This means investing in school mental health professionals and initiatives. It means giving our kids opportunities to read books and learn histories that reflect their identities so they feel represented in the classroom and the world.

Unfortunately, Republicans are on a crusade to bury the stories and ideas that give students a voice. We need to fight back and empower our kids to learn about and love everyone around them, including themselves.

As they learn to love, they also deserve to feel cared for and valued by those around them. Throughout my time in education, my relationships with my friends, teachers, and students were what got me through. School can feel like an overwhelming place that moves too fast, and our kids need safe spaces and powerful support systems to help them through it.

Itʼs up to us to create those spaces through investments in sports, arts, and extracurriculars so that students have opportunities to discover their passions in healthy ways. Letʼs direct resources to public schools so that educators and staff can cultivate authentic relationships with each and every student.

When I came to my school every day, I saw limitless talent and unbridled curiosity, a testament to the joy of learning. We cannot afford to fall for Republican talking points and policies that will keep our schools unsafe every day. Our kids are our future. They can and will solve our greatest challenges and build a better society where everyone can thrive.

As students and teachers head back to their classrooms, we need to think critically about how and why to create safe schools. The people we should be listening to are kids, parents, and teachers, not pundits using attacks on public education to score cheap political points. Itʼs time to refocus the conversation around our kids and empower them by enacting policies that keep our babies safe and unlock their full potential.

Jamaal Bowman is the U.S. representative for New York’s 16th congressional district.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.

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DeKalb County leaders urge gun safety in response to


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – DeKalb County officials are asking gun owners to be more responsible and to step up to keep kids safe.

On Thursday, DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond and Police Chief Mirtha Ramos encouraged the use of gun safes and gun locks in response to recent shootings involving children.

“A lock or a safe may be the difference between life and death for your child,” Thurmond said. “If you have guns and young children populating the same physical space, a gun that is not properly secured with a lock or safe is nothing but a death trap.”

The police department is giving away gun safes and gun locks in an effort to make it harder for a child to get access to a gun.

“It’s actually very inexpensive because we’re giving it to the public for free,” Chief Ramos said.

Their plea comes days after a DeKalb County 7-year-old was killed by a gun left in a car.

In Cobb County, a 1-year-old boy died Wednesday after picking up a loaded gun and accidentally shooting himself.

In both cases, a parent was charged.

“Then an arrest will be made, you’re destroying families, they’re already suffering,” Chief Ramos said. “It’s painful but we still have a job to do and we’ll do it, but we’re just asking the community to help us do that.”

The community safety fair where gun owners can get a free lock or safe is Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Big Lots on Chamblee Tucker Road.

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DeKalb County CEO and police chief on gun safety


According to a release, they plan to “discuss the importance for gun owners to practice gun safety to protect their children and other loved ones.”

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County leadership will hold a media conference on Thursday morning to discuss gun safety efforts and promote a community outreach set for initiative this weekend.

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond and DeKalb County Police Department Chief Mirtha Ramos will address reporters. 

According to a release, they plan to “discuss the importance for gun owners to practice gun safety to protect their children and other loved ones.”

The police department also notes that it is holding the Community Outreach and Safety Fair this Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Big Lots parking lot at 3358 Chamblee Tucker Road.

The address by leadership comes after a 42-year-old dad was charged with second degree murder this week after he left his 6-year-old and 7-year-old sons with a car containing a loaded gun. The 7-year-old boy was shot in the head and killed in that incident.

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Doctor speaks on gun safety after 2 kids accidentally shoot


COBB COUNTY, Ga. — The silence of Tuesday night was broken by a gunshot and sirens.

Cobb County first responders arrived at an apartment complex off of White Circle Road and found a one-year-old child who had been shot in the head.

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“Based on preliminary information, it indicates the child was able to get their hands on the handgun and accidentally shot themselves,” says Cobb County Police PIO Aaron Wilson.

The child’s father, Conrad Carrington Clark, was arrested and charged with manslaughter, reckless conduct, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

This is the second child killed similarly this week. On Monday, a 7-year-old boy was shot in the head after finding a loaded gun in the car. His father was inside a nearby convenience store.

The boys’ father, 42-year-old Danty Daugherty, was arrested on charges of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree cruelty to children.

“These are preventable injuries and deaths,” Dr. Annie Andrews said.

Dr. Andrews is a pediatrician and a member of Everytown, an organization dedicated to stopping gun violence.

“Every year in this country, over 350 kids under the age of 15 are shot by an unsecured firearm,” Dr. Andrews said “These are unintentional shootings, meaning a child gained access to an unsecured firearm and unintentionally pulls the trigger.”

Dr. Andrews says the responsibility for keeping kids safe, falls on the parents.


“We can all start doing something today. That’s securely storing our firearms. Keeping them locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition,” Dr. Andrews said. “It is always the adults gun owners responsibility to ensure children do not gain access to unsecured firearms.”

Everytown tracks unintentional shootings by children online, which you can look at here.

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‘Locking in Safety’ event in Hampton giving out 500 gun


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Peninsula leaders are working to help gun owners safely store their firearms.

The ‘Locking in Safety: Stop the Violence’ event is next Sunday Sep. 17 from 1 to 5 p.m.  

Everyone is invited to come out and get a free gunlock at Aberdeen Elementary. There will also be a raffle for a gun vault and a gun cabinet to properly store firearms. 

“We have more guns than we do people in the United States,” said Thomas Alston of Deen Ball Sports LLC. “We have enough firearms already. This message is to just encourage and bring awareness to adults who are firearm owners to lock it and store it properly. A simple cable gun lock can prevent a lot of unfortunate situations.”

Alston said the Richneck school shooting, where a 6-year-old shot his teacher in the chest, pushed him to organize this event.

“We can’t blame the children for being inquisitive,” Alston said, “and if they stumble and find your firearm, that ownership and responsibility is on us adults because we didn’t store it correctly.”

The event will bring together Hampton city leaders, including Moms Demand Action, the Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, Hampton police and the city’s sheriff’s office. The partnership is to continue the Operation Ceasefire initiative.

“We have enough negative images of guns on social media, video games and television,” he said. “So, why not provide an alternative message on how to safely handle [a firearm]?”

The event is made possible through a gun violence prevention grant to the Office of Youth and Young opportunities.

School supplies will also be given to kids to ensure a successful and safe school year.

If you would like to donate a cable gun lock and help Alston reach its goal of 1,000 gunlocks, email dennballsportsinc@gmail.com.

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Do not bow down to gun lobby on safety reforms, Keyham MP


Labour MP Luke Pollard, who has been a campaigner on firearm controls since the shootings in his constituency in 2021, made the plea in the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Mr Pollard raised concerns that “sensible measures” could be “watered down”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak offered assurances that improvements are being made in the process of checks before someone acquires a legal firearm, but said the Home Office would respond to a consultation on the issue “in due course”.

The shootings in Keyham were carried out by a licensed shotgun owner, and recommendations relating to firearms licensing and checks were made by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and the senior coroner for Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon in the aftermath, which are the focus of the consultation.

The senior coroner for the area, Ian Arrow, has called for a “root and branch” reform of the UK’s gun laws to protect the public.

Plymouth incident
Floral tributes left in Biddick Drive, Keyham in Plymouth, Devon, where five people were killed by a gunman (Ben Birchall/PA)

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Pollard said: “Two years ago in Plymouth, we lost five people in Britain’s worst mass shooting the country has seen for a decade.

“The Government has finally consulted on firearms reform.

“But after pressure from shooting groups, even these sensible measures look like they could be watered down.

“So will the Prime Minister bow down to lobbyists from the shooting industry?

“Or will he stand with the grieving families and those in Plymouth who want to see no other tragedy like ever happen again – with stronger gun laws?”

Mr Sunak responded: “I know how important this issue is to (Mr Pollard) following the horrific shooting in his constituency.

“And my thoughts are with the family of all those who were killed.

“He will know that firearms are subject to stringent controls, and rightly so, but those controls are kept under constant review, for example we have taken action to improve information sharing between GPs and the police to make sure that people are not given access to firearms without their medical conditions being checked.”

The Prime Minister said the process for how people apply for firearms has been “improving” so that “how people apply for firearms is assessed properly including checks on social media”.

He added: “The Home Office is in the process of considering responses to that consultation and will respond in due course.”

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