Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Public Safety

Social Workers Get Trained On Gun Safety

A pistol lies on the counter at San Diego Guns, June 16, 2020.
Roland Lizarondo
A pistol lies on the counter at San Diego Guns, June 16, 2020.

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.

Social Workers Get Trained On Gun Safety
Listen to this story by Jacob Aere.

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."

Social Workers Get Trained On Gun Safety

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.


RELATED: California Sues US Regulator In Bid To Deter ‘Ghost Guns’

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.

The registrar of voters says the number of ballots received thus far in the election cycle is up 300 to 400 percent from 2016. Plus, climate activists are meeting online to figure out how to meet California’s ambitious climate goals and social workers are being offered gun safety classes for the first time.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.