Legislative Priorities

Gun violence is preventable and we're currently advocating for three main gun violence prevention policies to protect our children and communities. Please join us and call on your legislators to pass these life-saving bills!

Pass Model School Safety Policy

In the vast majority of incidents of school violence, students display many warning signs or signals before taking harmful action. We already have evidence-based programs that we know have helped stop multiple school shootings, suicides, and other acts of school violence. Sandy Hook Promise supports state and federal policy to require all schools to implement the following proven school safety programming to stop violence before it happens.

    • School Threat Assessment: Threat assessment teaches adults in schools and youth organizations how to identify, assess and respond to threats of violence or at-risk behavior BEFORE a tragedy takes place. Threat assessment not only addresses the threat itself but also helps identify and treat the underlying problem that led the youth to make the threat.
    • Student Safety and Violence Prevention Training: Students need training to recognize signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others. They should also be encouraged and empowered to say something to a trusted adult BEFORE it is too late. This training should be required at least once a year in every school.
    • School Personnel and Student Suicide Prevention Training: Youth, educators and administrators must know how to identify, intervene and get help for youth who may be depressed or suicidal. Every school should be required to provide at least one hour of evidence-based suicide prevention training each year to both students and teachers.
    • Student Social Inclusion Training: Studies have shown that social isolation and loneliness can have a significant impact on students’ mental and physical health, academic performance, and peer relationships. By teaching students how to be more inclusive and connected to one another from a young age, we can create stronger school communities where marginalization and rejection are minimized, bullying is significantly reduced, and students’ mental wellness is optimized.
    • Anonymous Reporting Systems: Every state should establish a 24/7 anonymous reporting system that is free and accessible to all schools, parents, teachers, students, and administrators. When combined with training, it is a critical tool for ensuring everyone in the school ecosystem knows how to identify the warning signs of violence and that key information quickly gets to those who can help prevent harm.

DOWNLOAD MODEL SCHOOL SAFETY POLICY: DOWNLOAD

 

Pass Extreme Risk Protection Orders

In the aftermath of a shooting incident, we often hear stories from friends or family members about the warning signs the shooter exhibited.

Extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) empower family members and law enforcement agencies to prevent gun violence and gun-related suicides. Under such a law, family members and law enforcement officials can petition a court to temporarily separate at-risk individuals from firearms. If the judge finds the person poses a significant danger of injury to self or others, the judge will order that the firearms be temporarily placed in safe storage until the person receives the help they need.

Sandy Hook Promise supports legislation that enables family or friends to alert law enforcement to a potentially dangerous situation and gives law enforcement the tools and authority they need to remove firearms in the interest of public safety. This legislation can be passed at the state level, as it has been in Connecticut, California, Oregon, Indiana, Washington, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Congress can also take action at the federal level to require or incentivize state passage of these life-saving laws. If you live in a state without an ERPO law, contact your state and federal representatives and ask them to support ERPOs. If you live in a state with an ERPO, educate your family, friends, and neighbors about the law and how it can save a life.

 

Pass Background Checks

Background checks are a proven and critical tool to help keep guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others. Background checks help protect our children and communities. States with expansive background check laws have seen 52% fewer mass shootings¹, a 48% reduction in suicide deaths by firearm², and a 48% reduction in law enforcement death caused by gun violence³. By requiring that firearms be sold and transferred through licensed sellers and subject to background checks, we can prevent future tragedies. Sandy Hook Promise is proud to support legislation to strengthen our background checks system at the state and federal level to protect our children and communities from preventable gun violence.

With the support of millions of Promise Makers, Sandy Hook Promise has proudly helped lead the effort at federal and state level to strengthen our background checks system since our founding. We are closer than ever to passing universal background checks, but we need your help to build the votes to protect our children and communities from preventable gun violence. Call on your Representative and Senator to support universal background checks today.

 

[1] Everytown for Gun Safety. New Research: States with Background Checks Experience Fewer Mass Shootings. New York: Everytown for Gun Safety, 12 Nov. 2015. Online.
[2] Michael D. Anestis, Joye C. Anestis, “Suicide Rates and State Laws Regulating Access and Exposure to Handguns”, American Journal of Public Health 105, no. 10 (October 1, 2015): pp. 2049-2058.
[3] Everytown for Gun Safety. Latest Gun Violence Research: States With Background Checks Have Fewer Domestic Violence Homicides, Fewer Police Killed By Guns. New York: Everytown for Gun Safety, 16 January. 2015. Online.