JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Half of guns found in Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) during the 2016-2017 school year belonged to a student’s family member or a family friend, new data shows.
Duval County school board member Scott Shine requested the data to find out how and why students were bringing guns to school.
“I wanted to understand what the source of the firearms in our schools was,” Shine said.
Of the 12 incidents this past school year, six of the guns belonged to a family member or friend of the family.
“So they were left accessible and [the student] got the firearm and brought it to school,” Shine said.
The youngest person to be caught with a gun at school was just 12 years old.
According to DCPS, there were 10 firearm arrests during the 2015-2016 school year and 12 during the 2014-2015 school year. Bringing a gun to school is a zero-tolerance infraction, meaning students could be expelled.
“We could radically reduce the number of firearms children are bringing into the school district if parents simply would take their firearms and put them under lock and key,” Shine said.
Daniel Webb, a safe technician at Knowell’s Lock & Safe Inc. on Jacksonville’s Westside, said it’s a gun owner’s obligation to make the gun is stored safely.
“It’s just like driving a car,” Webb said. “You don’t just jump in a car without being responsible.”
Webb, who is a gun owner, said it’s not an issue of gun control, but rather owner responsibility.
“That is a responsibility of owning that gun,” he said. “That you need to make sure that it is well-protected to keep it out of wrong hands.”
Webb warned people not to wait until they’re personally affected to take action.
“The guilt or shame you would live with if your lack of responsibility cost your child’s life… I think that kind of sums it up,” he said.
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