More than 6 guns were seized daily in US schools last year, report … – KSAT San Antonio

David Ibañez, Web – Managing Editor
David Ibañez, Web – Managing Editor
More than 1,150 guns were seized in K-12 campuses nationwide last school year, according to an investigation by The Washington Post. That’s more than six guns each day, on average.
The investigation also revealed that 1 in 47 school-age children — 1.1 million students — attended a school where at least one gun was found.
While those statistics may be alarming, they are only the ones mentioned in news reports. The Washington Post investigation indicates that the true number of guns recovered on campus is much higher due to gun seizure incidents that were not reported by the media.
A survey by the Post of 51 of the country’s largest school systems showed that 58% of seizures in those districts last academic year were never publicly reported by news organizations.
Those same districts said the number of guns recovered on campus rose sharply in recent years.
The Post found that between the 2018-2019 school year and the 2022-2023 school year — a five-year period that, following the pandemic shutdowns, also has seen significantly more behavioral problems in school. The 47 districts for which The Post was able to obtain five full school years of data saw a 79% increase in guns found on campuses over that time frame. In many communities, the number of guns found has more than doubled, a trend that mirrors a precipitous rise in school shootings.
The guns were found almost anywhere — bookbags, lockers, trash cans, bathrooms, cars, pockets, purses, bulging behind waistbands and hidden above bathroom ceiling tiles. Some were brought by accident, others to show off. In many cases, the guns were taken to school to end lives, police alleged.
“Kids are more likely to carry firearms, and even to bring firearms into school, if they have been victims of violence themselves, if they aren’t connected to a community, if they have post-traumatic stress,” said Megan Ranney, a leading firearm-injury researcher and dean of the Yale School of Public Health. “We’ve got a lot of kids who are scared … maybe have lost parents from covid, maybe have lost community connections because of shutdowns of community groups during covid. And then add on to it increased access to firearms. A lot of guns bought over the last couple of years. It becomes a perfect storm.”
The vast majority of campus gun seizures reported by news organizations involved high schoolers — the median age was 16, according to The Post’s survey. But authorities found guns on at least 31 students age 10 or younger during the 2022-2023 academic year, the news stories said. As is the case in most school shootings, the majority of those guns were brought to campus by children who could not legally purchase a firearm on their own.
School districts across the country are developing and implementing security plans in hopes of preventing guns from being taken onto campuses. But no matter what the strategy is, school safety experts say catching a gun on the front end is much better than investigating following a worst-case scenario.
The value of student reporting is something that Ken Trump, a school safety expert who travels the country advising schools and staff, stresses when training school leaders.
The number one way you find out about a weapon or a plot is from a kid who comes forward and tells an adult they trust,” Trump said.
When preventive measures fail, school security officers and resource officers often represent the final defense against would-be shooters.
The Post found that those officers — while highly unlikely to stop a school shooting in progress — have proved important in seizing guns brought onto school campuses, preventing potential violence every day.
If you would like to read the entire report by the Washington Post, click here.
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David Ibañez has been managing editor of since the website's launch in October 2000.
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