Social Workers Get Trained On Gun Safety
A new collaboration is taking shape to provide gun safety training for child welfare social workers. The program will focus on gun violence restraining orders and San Diego’s law on safe storage of firearms.
The new gun safety program was announced Monday by Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, Service Employees International Union, Local 221 and city attorney Mara Elliott.
Elliott has been recognized for using Gun Violence Restraining Orders, created by California’s red flag law, to prevent predictable acts of gun violence.
“These trainings will ensure that child welfare social workers know how gun violence restraining orders can be used to protect children from dangerous gun owners," Elliot said, "and help them educate parents about San Diego's laws on the safe storage of firearms."
Cecil Ashley is a protective services worker who is appreciative of the training.
“I'm thankful for training like this that are really proactive in equipping us, not only to keep ourselves safe, to keep our families safe. But also giving them the tools they need to, outside of our presence, keep themselves safe,” Ashley said.
California has seen a dramatic increase in gun sales this year. According to a survey from UC Davis researchers, an estimated 110,000 new firearms were sold in the state during 2020 through the month of July.
More than 40 percent of those sales were to first time gun owners.
San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said gun violence prevention is more crucial during the pandemic, as there has been a shortage of resources and limited interaction with mandated reporters.
“Because of COVID, so many of our children are not in the presence of teachers, school counselors and doctors as much as they were normally. And so these tools will help empower our social workers who are out on the front lines to know every tool they have to get a gun out of a dangerous situation and try and save lives,” Fletcher said.
The virtual training on gun safety will begin next week and is expected to provide resources for nearly 800 social workers in San Diego County.