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San Diego Unified School District throws support behind new gun safety law

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Posted at 1:08 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 16:08:24-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- As part of Gun Violence Prevention Week, the San Diego Unified School District is teaming up with City Attorney Mara Elliott in a joint effort to keep guns away from kids.

"Having a firearm in the home that easily accessible to children is basically going to increase the related injuries, the deaths and potential crimes including teen suicide," said SD Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten at a press conference Tuesday.

Marten threw support behind a fairly new gun safety law that was authored by Elliott. The Safe Storage for Firearms Ordinance was approved by the San Diego City Council last summer and went into effect in September.

RELATED: Council passes tougher gun storage law

The law requires all firearms owners keep their guns secured and locked away or disabled by a trigger lock. The goal is to keep guns away from children and unauthorized users, such as family members with dementia.

In the U.S., about 4.5 million children live in homes with unsecured firearms. Seventy percent of kids under the age of 10 reported knowing where their parents’ guns are kept, and 36 percent of those kids admitted to handling the guns.

On Tuesday, the SD Unified board plans to vote on a resolution in favor of supporting the ordinance. The district hopes to extend outreach efforts to make sure families are aware that the law is now in effect.

If the resolution is adopted, 100,000 district families will receive information about the ordinance.

RELATED: San Diego gun owners could face stricter storage requirements

But, how is a law like this enforced?

"It's enforced by observation typically," said Elliott. "So, nobody is knocking on anybody's door. If an officer is at a home responding to a crime and they see an unsecured gun, then they may act."

Breaking the law can result in a warning or an arrest. The charge can vary, depending on the circumstances and prosecutor's discretion.

In serious cases, a judge can order a $1,000 fine and six-month jail sentence.