Protecting children from firearm injury and death is the singular focus of GunSafety4Bexar, a coalition established in 2019 thanks to a number of nonprofit and local governmental partners, and two $25,000 grants to the University Health Foundation from the Bexar County Commissioners Court and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.
University Health’s Level I trauma team is playing a key role in the work of the coalition through community outreach activities aimed at educating the public about the danger and tragic impact of unsecured guns in homes.
Every day in the U.S., nine children or teens are shot and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, guns kill more children each year than cancer. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that roughly one in three of homes with children have a gun, and many are stored loaded and/or unlocked.
The grant funds were used to purchase 17,000 gun locks for the University Health Injury Prevention Team and other coalition members to distribute at community events. Providing a locking device with education is enabling the team to take a comprehensive approach in addressing this public health crisis, as far too many children die when a gun is discovered by themselves or a sibling and accidentally discharged.
The GunSafety4Bexar coalition includes Bexar County, the Bexar County Sherriff’s Office, Be SMART for Kids, Safe Kids San Antonio, VIA and University Health.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff is leading this ongoing effort to ensure everyone understands that guns must always be safely stored unloaded, locked and separate from ammunition.