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Activists Push Policy Changes That Save Lives Nationwide

Sandy Hook Promise supporters at a rally.

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All across the United States, grassroots champions have been working with our policy team at the Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund to pass sensible legislation to protect children.

The Action Fund team continuously works with elected officials on sensible, bipartisan policy solutions that save lives.

Federal Policy Progress

Expansion of Background Checks (2024)

The Biden administration announced the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) final rule that strongly narrows the private gun sale loophole. It’s the most significant expansion of background checks since the Sandy Hook tragedy, and will keep schools, homes, and communities safe by preventing thousands of gun sales to prohibited purchases.

Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act (2022)

This act led and passed bipartisan appropriations of $10 million for youth suicide prevention and availability of lethal means storage for families as part of comprehensive suicide safety plans for young people.

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (2022)

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) was signed into law by President Biden shortly after the bill passage in 2022, the biggest federal legislation on gun violence prevention in 30 years. Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) was a key partner in drafting this bill and getting it across the finish line. In addition to key gun safety reforms, including clarifying who must conduct background checks on buyers, closing a significant gap in the system, the new law also provides additional safety and mental health support for students.

Learn more about the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and Sandy Hook Promise’s advocacy in this video.

The STANDUP Act (2022)

Sandy Hook Promise wrote and passed this bill that has expanded access to suicide prevention programs for middle and high school students nationally. Since passage, more than $100M has been distributed to at least 24 states for additional suicide prevention and mental health training for students.

The STOP School Violence Act (2018)

SHP wrote this landmark legislation that funds youth violence prevention programs at the state level and passed it with the Trump Administration. It invests $1B in proven violence prevention programming nationwide. STOP has been praised for creating and scaling new trauma-informed, suicide prevention, and restorative justice programs in schools nationally.

State Policy Progress

Indiana House Bill 1104 (2024)

Modeled after Sandy Hook Promise’s signature legislation, the Students Safe at School Act, HB1104 ended mandatory participation in active shooter simulations for all Indiana students and teachers in K-12 schools.

Minnesota Students Safe at School Act (2023)

SHP’s signature legislation ended active shooter simulations in all Minnesota schools that traumatize students and requires that all MN schools – over 820,000 more students – receive evidence-informed violence-prevention training each year in school.

Louisiana Safety and Violence Education (SAVE) for Students Act (2022)

SHP’s signature legislation requires that all middle and high schoolers – over 360,000 more students – receive annual suicide and violence prevention training. Louisianna is the second state to pass this legislation.

Ohio Safety and Violence Education (SAVE) for Students Act (2020)

This requires that all Ohio middle and high schoolers – over 900,000 more students – receive annual suicide and violence prevention training. Louisiana is the second state to pass this legislation. Ohio was the first state to pass our model SAVE Students Act.

Texas School Safety and Mental Health in Public Schools Act (2019)

SHP’s original policy requires that the Texas Education Agency develop a list of school-based prevention programs in consultation with advocacy groups. It also requires that every district’s enrichment curriculum include information on suicide-related risk factors and warning signs, as well as model policies and procedures for student and school staff to anonymously report dangerous, violent, or unlawful activity targeting students or schools.

Responding Quickly and Providing Solutions

When mass shootings happen, lawmakers at the state and federal level often look to Sandy Hook Promise for solutions and paths forward. In the wake of the Oxford school shooting in Michigan, Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund worked closely with key elected officials as they sought solutions to prevent further school violence. Immediately after the Uvalde, TX shooting at Robb Elementary, Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund met with legislators on both sides of the aisle to begin crafting bipartisan solutions to reduce gun violence.

How You Can Help Pass Kid-Partisan Policies

Policy change isn’t easy. It doesn’t happen overnight. But the cost of doing nothing is just too great. Death by firearms has become the leading cause of death of children and young adults.

Our policy team will continue working alongside our national network of grassroots supporters to fight for meaningful change. Each success moves us forward to a day where children can live without fear. Kids should be able to be kids when going to their school, playground or local grocery store. And every setback strengthens our resolve to work harder.

Want to get involved and be the first to know when important legislation is moving through Congress, or in your state’s Capitol Hill?