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A Message from Judy Sherry, GGS Founder & President

Once again, we’ve experienced another tragic school shooting.

This one last week in Nashville claimed the lives of three 9-year-old children and three school personnel. First responders shot and killed the shooter at the scene. So once again, I’m writing to both console and motivate us.

Deep frustration and discouragement are understandable, particularly when we see and hear U.S. senators and representatives saying again that no gun reform legislation will be considered. There’s simply no excuse for Congress to ignore the will of the majority of people who understand and demand common ground gun reform.

With the public becoming more engaged and enraged, this is our time to use our collective voice and speak out loudly. Let’s move beyond discouragement and get ANGRY!

On the day of the Nashville shooting, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden said, “There are no words.” Respectfully, I disagree. In addition to anger, there are many other fitting words: fear, disgust, cowardness, sorrow, empathy, and commitment.

Another important word? ACTION, which I’m urging now. While we in Kansas and Missouri worry our words fall on deaf ears, it’s our obligation to tell our elected officials we know gun safety saves lives and demand they pay attention.

Banning assault-style weapons is one among several key steps toward increasing gun safety. For example, Extreme Risk Protection Orders (known as Red Flag Laws) are effective in keeping firearms from people experiencing instability and emotional distress. A judge can temporarily remove weapons from such people to allow for a cooling-off period. Another step: requiring universal background checks to identify people who should have no access to firearms.

We continue hearing the Tennessee shooter purchased the firearms legally. While that’s correct, it’s simply because Tennessee has extremely lax gun laws. If the state had enacted a Red Flag Law or required a universal background check, the six victims at Covenant School might still be alive today.
Yes, I’m “preaching to the choir,” but I must! Please continue your involvement, or begin it now, by speaking up and speaking out to our elected officials. Tell them to act now and pass common ground gun reform that will save lives. Our children and grandchildren are counting on us to continue the work we’ve started.

Many Took a Peek at GGS Programs & Decided to Take Part!

At our March meeting, we saw many new faces who learned about various GGS programs and how to get involved. The “speed dating” schedule gave everyone a chance to meet committee chairs and ask questions. Most importantly, many attendees volunteered for committees and projects that interested them.

If you missed GGS’ committee “speed dating” last month, you can still get involved. Read these quick descriptions from the event and make a date for future volunteering.

Volunteers like Dave and Carole Webster are vital to GGS’s success. They were recognized as Volunteers of the Quarter at the March meeting. The Websters jumped into the Advocacy Committee enthusiastically and have approached every endeavor with skill and determination, from distributing warning signs to federally licensed gun dealers to compiling a sample letter plus a list of bank and insurance companies who support ammunition and firearm manufacturers. Click here to review.

Adding new volunteers is especially important as GGS observes its 10th anniversary, anticipates its next 10 years and also observes National Volunteer Week, April 16-22. Join us!

April GGS program: There’s No Place Like (a Safer) Home

Home may be where the heart is, but it can also pose dangers to young children, especially when firearms are present.

Join us Monday April 24 for an afternoon field trip to tour Charlie’s (Safety Demonstration) House in Kansas City, Missouri. Learn how living spaces can be used to reduce in-home accidents and keep children safer.

Charlie’s House opened two years ago at 24th & Campbell near Children’s Mercy Hospital. The nonprofit has partnered with GGS in making free gun locks available to its visitors. Last fall, its Board recognized Judy Sherry, GGS founder and president, with its Excellence in Home Safety Award.

Meet us at Charlie’s House at 2:00 pm on April 24 or carpool from Colonial Church beginning at 1:15 pm. Reserve your spot at here Monday, April 10. Learn more about Charlie’s House.

Student Volunteers Help Support Lock It For Love

In supporting Lock It For Love’s new third-party distribution system, GGS enlisted the help of freshmen at Shawnee Mission East High School last month.

The students assembled 100 packages of free gun locks to be distributed plus 50 folders of informational materials about Grandparents for Gun Safety.

The third-party system expands the reach of Lock It For Love, GGS’ signature gun safety program. Now in addition to in-person distribution of gun locks at community events, LIFL is partnering with pediatricians. Participating doctors offer gun locks to their patients’ families who have firearms in their homes. Since its beginning six years ago, LIFL has distributed 5,295 free gun locks.

Patti and Jim Regan co-chair LIFL’s third-party distribution project. To engage the student volunteers’ help, the Regans worked with Sheryl Kaplan, co-coordinator of SHARE, the school’s student-led volunteer program. Later, Ms. Kaplan emailed, “Thank you all for informing this group and letting us participate in an important project!”

Patti Regan, LIFL’s third-party co-chair, with student volunteers at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village.

Advocacy in Action

Our multi-pronged advocacy efforts (from sending postcards to state legislators, meeting with them face-to-face and phoning members of Congress weekly) reinforce the three bywords of GGS: educate, advocate and participate.

Another way to reach Kansas state legislators is through the attached petition demanding Stop Unnecessary Gun Deaths With Safe Gun Storage Laws. Click here to see how you can participate.

Examples of the power of our advocacy efforts are reinforced by two recent emails:

  • Teri Riley, the local graphic artist who helps produce the monthly GGS newsletter, wrote:
    “I’ve had a long-time freelance client who asked me to do a job for a weapons parts manufacturer and I declined the job. I believe the work you do helped me to be more conscious of this, and it was a complete no-brainer to decline. It did have ramifications, as they haven’t hired me to do any more work, and even pulled a job I was working on.”
  •  Ardie and Gretchen Davis, longtime GGS members wrote: “Kudos and applause to Grandparents for Gun Safety for persistent, effective education and advocacy initiatives in the ongoing battle to support legislation, values and behavior that will make our communities, state, nation and planet safe from gun violence.”

There are so many ways to advocate! If you’re interested in helping expand our advocacy work or have suggestions for other advocacy projects, please email Carla Oppenheimer.

One in 20 American adults say they own at least one AR-15 rifle. That’s about 16 million people.
Source: The Washington Post and Ipsos, a global market research firm

News You Can Use 

The Washington Post and global marketing research firm Ipsos asked nearly 400 owners of AR-15s why they own the rifle.

Self-defense was the most popular reason for owning an AR-15. Other frequent answers included recreation, target shooting and hunting. Some pointed to owning an AR-15 as their Second Amendment right.

This is a fascinating article containing many charts of the owners’ demographics. Washington Post subscribers can read the entire article: Why do Americans own AR-15s?


Missouri churches do not need concealed firearms.

In another move to make Missouri gun laws even weaker, the Missouri House of Representatives is considering passage of HB 485, which allows anyone who has a concealed carry permit to take firearms into churches. This Kansas City Star editorial argues against that potentially dangerous proposal saying more guns puts more people at risk. Subscribers of The Kansas Star can read the editorial here


Check state rankings of Kansas and Missouri in the strength of their gun laws compared with their rates of gun violence.

In states where elected officials have passed gun safety laws, fewer people die from gun violence. In fact, states considered ”national failures” have nearly three times as many gun deaths as the eight states considered national leaders in gun safety. Kansas and Missouri rank #37 and #38 respectively in the national failure category.

Read the full report here from the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety: Gun Safety Policies Save Lives.


Some good news for a change!

Last month a federal judge struck down a controversial Missouri law known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act that penalized police for enforcing federal gun laws.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Wimes ruled that the 2021 Missouri law is unconstitutional and “invalid, null, void, and of no effect.” The judge ruled the Missouri law violates the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which ensures federal law supersedes state law.

Interestingly, The Wall Street Journal published a story about other states adopting laws similar to the now-invalid Missouri law which prohibited state and local police from cooperating with the federal government in enforcing federal firearms laws. Legislators in Iowa, Ohio, Georgia, and other states are weighing nearly identical bills despite criticism that such laws would be unconstitutional. Read the full article here. 

Say Their Names

Last year, Kansas City, Missouri, suffered the second-highest number of homicides in the city’s history, recording 171. When including other nearby cities, the metro area recorded 264 homicides. 
We say the names of the 20 most recent victims as a way to honor their lives while we keep true to our vision that one day everyone in our community will be safe from gun violence.

Mark Your Calendar

April 16-April 22
National Volunteer Week
Thank you to all our dedicated GGS volunteers!
Monday, April 24
Field trip to tour Charlie’s (Safety Demonstration) House, 2425 Campbell Street, KCMO
2:00 to 4:00 pm
Reserve your spot by Monday April 10

Monday, May 22 GGS Monthly Meeting & Program 
Advocacy & Legislation: Protecting the LGBTQ Community
4:00 to 5:30 pm
Colonial Church in Prairie Village, 7039 Mission Road

Monday, October 9
10th Annual Community Forum
We’re planning to make this our biggest and best!
6:00 pm at the Plaza Library. Watch for details.

Our Vision

All members of our community have the right to feel safe from gun violence.

Our Mission

We focus on working for solutions, educating the community and seeking common ground reform that respects the rights of gun owners and non-owners alike.




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