Mostly False: Harris Makes Up ‘Statistic’ On Unsecured Guns and School Shootings

Kamala Harris
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

At an event touting the Biden administration’s efforts to curb gun violence, Vice President Kamala Harris said the vast majority of guns used in school shootings come from unsecured locations in homes. …

“Put it in a lockbox, because especially if a young person is just curious, or, you know, wants to play with a gun … let’s not make it too easy to get,” Harris said. “And that’s what secure storage is about. You know, the numbers that I have seen suggest that as many as 75% of school shootings resulted from a gun that was not secured.” …

We took a closer look at the statistic and found the study Harris cites concluded that some school shooters acquired firearms that were considered unsecured or easily accessible in family homes — but not 75%. …

The U.S. Secret Service report studied 41 incidents of “targeted school violence” that occurred at K-12 schools from 2008 to 2017.

Of the 25 shootings studied, perpetrators acquired firearms from the home of a parent or close relative in 19 cases. Some perpetrators removed the guns from locked wooden or glass cabinets, or found them locked in vehicles or hidden in closets.

Besides the 12 cases in which the shooters obtained the guns from spaces deemed unsecure, perpetrators in four incidents accessed firearms from more secured locations. Although the guns were in a locked gun safe or case, the shooters knew the combination, or where the keys were kept, or could guess the password. If those four cases are included in Harris’ “not secured” count, the percentage is closer to 64%.

In the three remaining cases, researchers could not determine whether the firearm had been secured. …

Harris’ statement contains an element of truth — the best available data suggests a relationship between unsecured guns at home and school shootings — but her statistic is off and ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False.

— Samantha Putterman in VP: 75% of School Shootings Resulted From Gun That Wasn’t Secured

4 Responses

    1. Hush,

      “A person is extremely naive if they think this administration will be honest about anything.”

      There, FIFY.

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