Tacoma gun safety program to debut later this month

Staff writerJune 5, 2014 

The Tacoma City Council plans to kick off a new gun safety program later this month.

The program has three elements:

  • Safe storage: Teaches gun owners how to store firearms to keep them away from children
  • Safety education: Teaches children, young adults and adults gun safety
  • Safe surrender: Offers gun owners options to surrender unwanted firearms
The gun safety campaign will be part of Tacoma’s gang reduction project, said city spokeswoman Megan Marquette. This campaign is tailored to the community and is not affiliated with other campaigns, she said.

In October, after the death of Jalon Bea, a 17-year-old Tacoma youth, other youths wanted to know what more they could do to prevent accidental shooting deaths.

“It may seem like fun and it may seem like a game, but this stuff is serious. … Guns are not toys,” said Councilwoman Victoria Woodards at Bea’s rally last year. “Don’t let your parents be these parents standing here tonight.”

Education will be geared toward different age groups, Marquette said, and the city will focus more information toward students as school starts this fall.

“Accidental death is a huge issue and it’s not going away,” she said. “That’s part of safe storage as well.”

Safe surrender is targeted at “parents who might have (guns) and who inherited them from grandpa and don’t really want them in their house.”

The city does not plan a gun buyback program, as other cities in the area have done.

More information will be available by August for National Night Out, Marquette said.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542

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