Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
November 20, 2019

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

Safe Storage of Firearms and School Safety and Security

The recent spate of shooting sprees and deadly violence around the nation has shocked and saddened us and dramatically increases our need to be vigilant and proactive with safety measures at all times. District and school administrators must help educate parents and guardians about California’s child access prevention laws; it is a crime for a person to negligently store or leave a loaded firearm in a place where a child is likely to access it.

This is an urgent request to inform your school community about the law regarding safe storage of firearms. Sample templates (in English and Spanish) for memoranda to parents and guardians informing them of the laws in California regarding safe storage of firearms are available on the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Violence Prevention web page at You may use these documents, or create your own, to help educate parents, guardians, and families of their legal responsibilities.

Schools alone cannot prevent incidents of gun violence. The CDE is dedicated to making our schools as safe as possible, and it is the responsibility of parents, guardians, and household members to store firearms according to California law. Tips and information about firearms safety, including Rules for Kids, can be accessed on the State of California Department of Justice Firearm Safety web page at

I commend your ongoing efforts to increase school safety and security awareness and your help to ensure that our students and staff thrive in a culture free of fear and violence. The CDE will continue to provide resources and technical assistance to support your efforts.

If you have questions about school safety and security, please contact Nancy Zarenda, Education Programs Consultant, School Health Office, by phone at 916-445-8441 or by email at [Note: Nancy Zarenda is no longer the contact. The new contact is the School Health and Safety Office at 916-319-0914].


Tony Thurmond


Last Reviewed: Friday, June 07, 2024

Recently Posted in Letters

  • Safe Spaces—Trauma-Informed Training for Educators (added 12-Jun-2024)
    Joint letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, School Principals, and Classified School Employees regarding Safe Spaces: Trauma-Informed Training for educators and school personnel.
  • Recruiting of Recent Graduates as Classified Staff (added 12-Jun-2024)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators and School Principals regarding support for recruitment of recent graduates as classified staff.
  • 2024 Exceptional Education Leaders Program (added 28-May-2024)
    Invitation to school administrators to recommend outstanding kindergarten through grade twelve educators for the 2024 Exceptional Education Leaders Recognition Program.
  • Creative Roots Webinar: Panel Discussion (added 22-May-2024)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and School Principals regarding Creative Roots: Panel Discussion with Asian American Pacific Islander Artists.
  • Reminder: Graduates’ Rights to Wear Tribal Regalia (added 17-May-2024)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals regarding a reminder of graduates’ rights to wear tribal regalia.