According to a study from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), 89% of mass shootings between 1988 and 2019 occurred in gun-free zones. This evidence seems to suggest that gun-free zones just don’t work to keep people safe.
Why would that be? Simple. Because shooters look for easy targets. Most shooters don’t act on impulse. According to the FBI’s Study of Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters in the United States between 2000-2013, 88% of mass shootings are planned – it’s essentially premeditated murder. And in their planning, these bad actors look for easy targets where they can do maximum damage in the least amount of time.
When you put out a big sign that says “Gun-Free Zone,” this tells potential shooters that there will be no one in the area to stop them from killing as many people as they want. They know there will be no resistance.
What Really Deters Shooters?
Public places, schools, office buildings, and houses of worship have a duty to provide a safe environment to the extent that they are able. Just putting up signs is not sufficient. Bad actors bent on committing murder and mayhem are deterred by conditions that make it difficult for them to move about freely shooting and by the presence of individuals or technology that will quickly stop them.
Target-harden your physical spaces. This may mean something very different for different locations, but in general, it means not having easy hiding places outside or inside your location, keeping all entrance and exit points locked or monitored, and having a well-positioned security camera system. Other ways to target-harden your location can be determined by doing a safety assessment with the help of local law enforcement.
Use gun-detection technology. Signage that tells would-be perpetrators that you have technology in force that can detect visible guns clearly deters bad actors. ZeroEyes is driven by powerful artificial intelligence software that immediately detects visible firearms – with no false positives – and instantly informs onsite security and local first responders, so any attempted shootings can be quickly neutralized. Minutes count when saving lives. Our powerful ZeroEyes weapons-detection and instant communication system is operated by trained and combat-hardened American military who know the importance of quick action and real-time intel to accomplish the mission, which is keeping your people safe.
On-site security. When you have visible security on campus, shooters will likely choose another target. If a shooter does choose a location that has security, it may be because there are insufficient personnel to cover the size of the location or because the person is highly motivated to use that location, possibly due to a desire for revenge against persons there. In the event of a shooter situation, ZeroEyes provides on-site security guards and first responders constant updates on the movement of the shooter through the area. This not only helps law enforcement track down and stop the shooter, it gives administrators the information they need to move people to safety and lock down various areas of the building.
In short, declaring your building or campus a gun-free zone essentially makes your location a target. Instead, focus on target-hardening your location, adding and announcing a gun-detection software like ZeroEyes, and providing visible security so that the bad actor decides your location is just not worth the risk.