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20 YEARS AFTER COLUMBINE: 5 TRENDS IN GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND 5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP

The tragic mass shooting that claimed the lives of 13 students and wounded more than 20 others in a previously unheard-of school and town -- Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado -- is considered by many as the unofficial start of the gun violence prevention movement in the U.S.   

Since then, dozens of other innocuous towns and schools have been added to an unforgettable list – including our own Newtown, CT -- with thousands of family members and friends across the country surviving the far-reaching ripple effects of mass and school shootings.  

The popular assertion “and still nothing has changed” echoes throughout the media on every remembrance and yet, though it might not often feel that way, immense progress has been made.  

We at Sandy Hook Promise are only here and able to do this work to honor our loved ones because of the families, students, and activists from Columbine that laid the foundation for the modern gun violence prevention movement. 

Truly, much has changed since Columbine.  

We now have a nationwide, youth-led movement for gun violence prevention that is saving lives because of the tireless efforts of families and survivors of Columbine, Parkland, Chicago, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Oak Creek, Kalamazoo, Orlando, Newtown, and countless others. 

Here, we look back at the progress the movement has made in honor of those we have lost, and what you can do to get involved and add your voice to protect our kids and stop gun violence.  

 

1. The survivor movement takes root and gains strength: 

  • Tom Mauser’s son Daniel, who was 15 years old and in 10th grade, was killed at Columbine High School in 1999. He, among many others, began to pave the way for other parents and families who have since become survivors of gun violence. Just days after the shooting at Columbine, Tom carried a sign at a local protest with a photo of his son Daniel and the words, “My son Daniel died at Columbine. He’d expect me to be here today.” Tom told those who attended, “If my son Daniel was not one of the victims, he would be here with me today.” 
  • Now, in a much more connected world, and with dozens of communities suffering similar school or mass shootings, survivors, and activists have found hope and healing in each other. Survivors have activated media campaigns like the #NoNotoriety campaign, worked on state and federal policy initiatives, passed Universal Background Checks and Extreme Risk Protection Orders in dozens of states, and are carrying on the legacies of their lost loved ones by making our communities and schools safer. Recently, 4 Columbine survivors sat down with 4 survivors from Parkland to talk about their work, navigating loss, and to offer support for the long road ahead.  

 

2. The youth voice continues to grow stronger: 

 

3. States get serious about gun violence prevention, while the federal government lags: 

  • Numerous states have passed legislation to close loopholes, ban high-capacity magazines, and set age limits on gun purchases, but there has been little action at the federal level 
  • After the 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, CO, state lawmakers passed a law requiring a background checks before most firearm transfers and banned large-capacity ammunition magazines.  
  • Twenty states and Washington, DC have extended the background check requirements beyond current federal law to at least some private sales. 
  • As of March 2019, 15 states (CaliforniaConnecticutDelawareFloridaIllinoisIndianaMarylandMassachusettsNew JerseyNew YorkOregonRhode IslandVermontWashington, and Colorado) have enacted laws authorizing courts to issue Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs).  
  • Legislation doesn’t happen without voter engagement. And we are seeing the largest Increase in voter engagement in decades: There was a 47% increase in mid-term voter turnout since 1994 and young people are registering to vote in record numbers, driving structural change in gun violence prevention on the local, state, and national level. 

 

4. Gun violence prevention programs become best practice in schools and districts nationwide: 

  • Less than one year after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Sandy Hook Promise partners with threat assessment experts to develop four, evidence-based Know the Signs programs designed to help youth and adults recognize the warning signs of violence toward oneself or others, and act immediately to get help and prevent tragedy. To date, more than 6.5 million people have received these trainings in 14,000+ schools across all 50 states. 
  • In March of 2018, the federal government passed the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act. Sandy Hook Promise partnered with Democrats and Republicans to write and pass this legislation that allots millions of dollars in funding for states and school districts to implement violence prevention and intervention programs, suicide education, anonymous reporting systems, and more. 
  • Pennsylvania becomes the first state to require anonymous reporting tools be available for every middle and high school student. 
  • Threat assessment teams and preparedness drills have become the evolving approach to school safety, while more and more schools are taking an even more holistic approach by using these in conjunction with violence prevention programs like Know the Signs from Sandy Hook Promise.   

 

5. Business leaders commit to ending gun violence in America, funding awareness and advocacy efforts:  

  • “As business leaders with power in the public and political arenas, we simply cannot stand by silently when it comes to the issues that threaten the very fabric of the communities where we live and work,” wrote Chip Bergh, Levi Strauss & Co. president and CEO, in an op-ed for Fortune. “While taking a stand can be unpopular with some, doing nothing is no longer an option.” The company commits more than $1 million to nonprofits and youth activists advocating for gun reform. 
  • Taking a stance in the gun violence debate represents a radically different approach for the TOMS shoe companywho recently announced $5 million in funding for gun violence prevention.  In CEO Blake Mycoskie’s mind, it’s in line with the company’s original mission. “This is a human issue,” he says. “It’s become political, but ending gun violence is about making a better world, which is what we’ve always been about.” 

 

FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO HELP END GUN VIOLENCE 

 

1. Vote!  

 

2. Commit to “Know the Signs"  

  • Many shooters -- and people who die by suicide -- give warning signs and signals. When you know the signs, you can help save lives and prevent tragedies. If you see, hear, or read in-person or online something that concerns you, report it to a trusted adult or law enforcement immediately.  

 

3. Store Guns Safely to Protect Kids 

  • Many school shooters obtain unsecured firearms that have been improperly stored by adult family members in their lives. Safely store guns in a secure, locked case, separately from ammunition. This can prevent school shootings, suicides, and all-too-common unintentional shootings.  

 

4. Use Your Voice for Change 

  • Advocate for sensible gun reforms by contacting your Senators about S. 42, the Universal Background Check Expansion ActThe House bill passed on February 27th, and now your Senators need to hear from you. Click here to send them an email now! 

 

5. Make the Promise to Protect Our Communities 

  • Join Sandy Hook Promise and Make the Promise to honor those we’ve lost, and those we can still save, by preventing gun violence and protecting our kids. Together, we can transform tragedy into transformational change. 

 

We can prevent shootings and keep our children and families safe, but it will take each and every one of our voices. Lawmakers will listen, but we must do the work. They tell us often that every contact made by their constituents matters and is counted. Make calls, send emails and tweets, sign petitions, register to vote, and make an Election Day plan.  

Currently, Congress is on recess and many lawmakers will be hosting Town Halls. These are perfect opportunities to urge your local representatives to vote yes on S. 42. Implementing robust universal background checks are the necessary next step to keeping our schools and communities safe from gun violence.  

Decades of work by families from Littleton and other communities across the country have shown us that gun violence prevention work is not hopeless, and we are not helpless. Honor those we have lost and those we can still save by keeping these families close to your heart on this difficult remembrance, and by adding your voice to the movement to protect our kids from gun violence.  

Sandy Hook Promise Hosted its Annual SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) Promise Club Summit in North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sandy Hook Promise Hosted its Annual SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere)

Promise Club Summit in North Carolina

 

Student leaders from across the country discussed proven gun violence prevention methods, as well as their “superpowers” for keeping their schools and communities safe

Newtown, CT – On Saturday, April 13th, Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) hosted its annual SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) Youth Summit for its SAVE Promise Club members from across the country at H.E. Winkler High School in Concord, NC, the state where SAVE was started 30 years ago. Students leaders, advisors, and advocates came together to showcase successful tactics and training to make schools and communities safer. The theme for this year’s event was “What’s Your Super Power?,” encouraging students to tap into their personal skillset to help prevent youth violence in their school and community.

Speakers at this year’s summit included, Natalie Barden, Newtown High School student activist, and Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden, SHP’s co-founders and managing directors and the parents of Dylan Hockley and Daniel Barden, respectively, who were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

While Nicole and Mark addressed the crowd, they recounted several anecdotes of when student leaders across the country used their “superpowers” to stop violence from happening in their school and community. “Each year, the number of threats our programs help to avert grows. From bullying to cutting, firearms in school and threats of suicide and homicide, we know without any doubt that our work is saving lives for families and communities everywhere. [Student leaders like yourself] are the eyes and ears – and the heart – of your school and you are uniquely placed to look after each other and get help. Your voice, knowledge, and skills are benefiting your entire community. That’s your superpower.”

The day-long summit provided student- and educator-led workshops to share best practices for implementing, leading, and sustaining SHP’s proven Know the Signs programs like Say Something and Start with Hello in schools nationwide. Topics included conquering conflict, ways of using words to create positive outcomes, how to continue a conversation after "hello," advocating for change with elected officials, recognizing the signs of social isolation, how to navigate change, how to resist bullies and more.

"While legislation is essential in this movement, treating others with respect, compassion, and kindness -- little things like this -- really do matter. That's why Sandy Hook Promise and the SAVE Promise Club work is so important. Gun violence prevention is more than a political issue. It is a human decency issue. There is no reason for this to be a divisive argument. We, as humans, need to care about each other,” said Natalie Barden, Newtown High School student activist, and sister of Daniel of who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

 

In addition, the exemplary schools from SHP’s national Start with Hello Week this past September presented the videos and activities they implemented during the national call-to-action week to Summit attendees. As a part of their prize package, winners and runners-up each received a stipend to attend and present at the summit.

The winning schools/school districts include:

- Madeira Beach Fundamental K-8, Madeira Beach, FL

- Bloomfield School District, Bloomfield, NJ

- St. Stephens High School, Hickory, NC

- Hermosa Beach City School District, Hermosa Beach, CA

- La Quinta Middle School, La Quinta, CA

- Seaman Elementary School, Jericho, NY

- Smyrna School District, Smyrna, DE

- Mannsdale Upper Elementary, Madison, MS

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. They are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook School on December 14, 2012. Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing parents, schools and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

 

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Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications | Stephanie Morris

Stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Passage of Extreme Risk Protection Order Legislation in Colorado

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Passage of Extreme Risk Protection Order

Legislation in Colorado

 

April 15, 2019 -- Newtown, CT – On Friday, the Colorado state legislature passed HB1177, a bill to establish Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs).

 

In response to this passage, Sandy Hook Promise, a leading national gun violence prevention organization, issued the following statement:

 

“Extreme Risk Protection Orders are a critical tool for law enforcement and families who are often the first to see the signs and signals of someone who may be violent and need a way to take action quickly to stop a tragedy before it happens. We applaud the Colorado state legislature and Governor Jared Polis for making this a priority and passing this life-saving legislation,” says Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

 

ERPOs allow law enforcement and family members to petition a judge to temporarily separate an individual from a firearm when they are at risk of harming themselves or someone else. ERPOs have been proven to help avert suicides and other acts of gun violence and have been passed in 14 other states. Sandy Hook Promise views ERPOs as a key part of ending the growing number of school shootings and overall epidemic of gun violence in our country.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they can happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

 

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Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications Stephanie Morris: stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Federal Increases in STOP School Violence Act Grant Funding Encourages More States and Districts to Apply

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Federal Increases in STOP School Violence Act Grant Funding

Encourages More States and Districts to Apply

 

April 10, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Yesterday, the federal government opened the application process for funding available for violence prevention training for schools created by the STOP School Violence Act. The Department of Justice’s request for proposal encourages more states, school districts, and tribal organizations to apply to bring evidence-based violence prevention programs to more youth nationwide.

 

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) applauds the increased funding released for the next cycle grants for Fiscal Year 2019 and issued the following statement:

 

“We were proud to champion the STOP School Violence Act with our bipartisan leaders in the House and Senate and applaud Congress for increasing funding for these grants to protect more students from violence. We know we can prevent violence in our schools with programs like SHP’s Know the Signs, as this critical investment will help states and school districts across the country to train and protect millions more students and stop tragedies before they can happen,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

 

The STOP School Violence Act was introduced in January 2018 to scale proven, evidence-based early intervention programming to schools across the country to prevent future school shootings, suicides, and other forms of school violence, based on the research and lessons learned from Sandy Hook and other tragic shootings. The legislation authorizes the Department of Justice to make grants to states for the purposes of training students, school personnel, and law enforcement to identify signs of violence and intervene to prevent people from hurting themselves or others. The legislation also encourages the development and operation of anonymous reporting systems, and formation of school threat assessment and intervention teams to help schools intake and triage threats before tragedy strikes.

 

In Fiscal Year 2018, SHP partnered with six states and 13 school districts to train 2.6 million youth and adults how to identify, assess, and get help for individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others in order to stop violence BEFORE it can occur.  Now, with further federal support of these life-saving programs, SHP and other organizations will be able to partner with states, school districts, and tribal organizations to protect millions more from violence.

 

To date, Sandy Hook Promise has trained more than 6.5 million youth and adults on 14,000+ schools in its Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence. Through these no-cost programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, teen suicides, and other acts of violence.

 

About the STOP School Violence Act

The STOP School Violence Act was introduced in the House of Representatives before the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to build off of the research and lessons learned from Sandy Hook and other tragic shootings and scale proven early intervention programming to schools across the country to prevent future school shootings, suicides, and other forms of school violence and victimization. It was passed and signed into law on March 28, 2018, as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus funding bill. Sandy Hook Promise proudly worked with Republicans and Democrats to write and pass this legislation.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others.  SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions, and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.

Statement from Sandy Hook Promise on the School Shooting in Prescott, Arkansas

For Immediate Release

 

Statement from Sandy Hook Promise on the School Shooting

in Prescott, Arkansas

 

April 2, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Yesterday, an 8th grade boy brought a gun to Prescott High School and shot a classmate in a premeditated attack. In response to this tragedy, Sandy Hook Promise issue the following statement:

 

“It pains me to know that this latest school shooting was preventable,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “Kids and adults must be equipped to ‘know the signs’ of potential violence and encouraged to say something when they see warning signs like social media posts of students with guns making threats. Joking with posts like this, even on April Fools Day, is never okay and should never be ignored. Our wishes for speedy recovery are with the victim and his family.”

 

To date, more than 6.5 million people nationwide have been trained in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, teen suicides, and other acts of violence.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and all violence) BEFORE it can happen by educating and mobilizing parents, schools, and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene, and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.

 

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Media Contact: Dini von Mueffling Communications Stephanie Morris | stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

Sandy Hook Promise Responds to the Tragedies Within the Community of School Shooting Survivors

Sandy Hook Promise Responds to the Tragedies within the Community of School Shooting Survivors

 

March 27, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Over the last two weeks, three survivors of school shootings tragically died by suicide, including Jeremy Richman, father of Avielle who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy on Dec., 14, 2012.

In response to this tragic news, Sandy Hook Promise issued the following statement:

“There are no words to express the pain we feel for the loss of precious life. Jeremy Richman was a beloved Newtown community member and celebrated neuroscientist who was doing amazing work leading The Avielle Foundation to research brain health, prevent violence, and build compassion. We urge everyone to learn about his work at www.aviellefoundation.org and support its ongoing mission.

“We believe all of Newtown will feel the loss of Jeremy and our hearts are with his family and friends.

“The traumatic events of the past week in the Newtown and Parkland communities have shown the lasting, often forgotten lifelong impact of these traumatic events on survivors -- parents, grandparents, siblings, communities. We need profound change: in how we relate to and take care of one another, the mental wellness services we provide to survivors, victims, and impacted community members, and in the legislation that supports our schools’ ability to educate the next generation to recognize the warning signs of suicide.”

With love,

The staff and families of Sandy Hook Promise

 

If you or someone you know needs help, you can reach the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or the Crisis Text Line by texting "Hello" to 741-741, twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

Further suicide prevention resources can be found here:

Newtown Center for Support and Wellness

203.270.4612 | newtowncsw.org

Newtown Youth and Family Services

203.270.4335 | www.newtownyouthandfamilyservices.org

Resiliency Center of Newtown

203.364.9750 | resiliencycenterofnewtown.org

 

First Responders: Behavioral Health Consultants

800.864.2742

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun

violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

 

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Media Contact: Dini von Mueffling Communications Stephanie Morris: stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

Students at Seymour Middle School Avert Potential Violence Following Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something Week Training

Students at Seymour Middle School Avert Potential Violence

Following Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something Week Training

 

Newtown, CT – March 21, 2019 – Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) praises the brave students of Seymour Middle School in Seymour, CT who helped avert potential violence in their school by standing up to “say something” when they saw disconcerting information and behaviors coming from one of their peers.

Just weeks after participating in SHP’s annual Say Something Week, students implemented what they learned during the training and notified a trusted adult with their observations. Say Something Week is an annual call-to-action week that reinforces the power young people have in preventing tragedies when they “say something” to a trusted adult to protect a friend from hurting themselves or others.

“I am proud of the swift action that these brave students took when they noticed something was awry with their classmate. It is crucial that we teach young people how to be ‘upstanders’ in their schools and communities, as they often see and hear things that adults miss,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. “We also praise Richard Kerns, the director of security for Seymour Public Schools, Superintendent Michael Wilson, and Dr. Edward Hendricks, a Seymour Public Schools board member, for rolling out Say Something to Seymour students. The training has proven to be an invaluable tool to ensuring that schools remain safe.”

In addition to the Say Something program, Seymour Public Schools is also a STOP School Violence Act grant partner. The STOP Act is a federal grant program that provides school districts with the funds to implement preventative safety measures to stop violence before it happens. More than 6.5 million people have been trained in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost signature programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, several teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they can happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

Sandy Hook Promise Responds to the Introduction of Extreme Risk Protection Order Legislation in Maine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Responds to the Introduction of

Extreme Risk Protection Order Legislation in Maine

 

March 19, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Today, legislation to establish Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) was introduced in the Maine State Senate. State Senator Rebecca Millet filed bill LD 1312, which would allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a judge to temporarily separate an individual from a firearm who is at risk of harming themselves or someone else.

In response to the introduction of this legislation, Sandy Hook Promise, a leading national gun violence prevention organization, issued the following statement:

“As we have seen in far too many recent shootings, when a loved one is in crisis, family members are often the first to see the signs and signals of violence before a tragedy. Extreme Risk Protection Orders are a critical tool to stop violence before it can happen because they allow family members and law enforcement to intervene quickly when someone is posing a threat to themselves or others,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. “We applaud the Maine legislature and Sen. Rebecca Millet for introducing this life-saving legislation and urge its swift passage.”

ERPOs have been proven to help avert suicides and other acts of gun violence and have been passed in 14 other states. Sandy Hook Promise views ERPOs as a key part of ending the growing number of school shootings and overall epidemic of gun violence in our country.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they can happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

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Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications Stephanie Morris: stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005