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Statement from Sandy Hook Promise on the Tragic Mass Shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand

For Immediate Release

 

Statement from Sandy Hook Promise on the Tragic Mass Shooting

in Christchurch, New Zealand

 

March 15, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- On Friday, 49 people were killed and 48 children and adults were injured at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand after a heavily armed gunman opened fire during prayers at a mosque. The attack was driven by hate for Muslims and immigrants, as outlined in a manifesto left behind by the shooter, and broadcast live on Facebook.

 

In response to this tragedy, Sandy Hook Promise issue the following statement:

 

“My heart aches as we continue to see places that should be safe havens be torn apart by gun violence. Places of worship, as spiritual homes, should be among the safest places there are on this planet - just like schools should be. When this sense of safety is diminished, it hurts us all. We must unite together and commit to preventing violence every place where we expect and deserve to feel and be safe,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “There are signs -- like a 74-page hate manifesto and social media posts, in this case -- that point to increased potential for violence. We must stay vigilant and say something when we see these warning signals. Our safety lies in our commitment to protecting one another.”

 

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 countless 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 Endorses Ethan’s Law in Connecticut

For Immediate Release

 

Sandy Hook Promise Endorses Ethan’s Law in Connecticut

 

March 12, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Following the tragic death of Ethan Song in 2018, new legislation Ethan’s Law (H.B. 5345) has been developed to strengthen safe firearm storage requirements in Connecticut by closing state loopholes on criminal liability for unsafe storage of a firearm that results in the death of a minor under age 18.

In response to the hearing on this legislation yesterday, Sandy Hook Promise released the following statement:

“Although Connecticut currently has strong child access prevention laws that impose criminal liability on adults whose unsafe storage of a firearm results in the death of a minor, there is a loophole in current law that says criminal liability can only be imposed if the gun is stored loaded. Ethan’s Law would close this loophole by clarifying that current law also applies to unloaded guns and further extends these protections to all children by changing the definition of minor from children ages 16 and under to children ages 18 and under. These are common-sense steps that should be taken immediately,” 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 in 2012.

“I am proud to be here today in support of the Song family, and we stand with them in honoring Ethan’s memory by expressing our strong support for Ethan’s Law,” Barden continued. “This measure will correct two dangerous flaws in our state’s child access prevention laws and bring us one step closer to protecting all children in our state from gun violence. I ask that the committee report bill 7218 favorably.”

This bill would fix a loophole in current law, which states that criminal liability can only be imposed if a gun is stored loaded. Ethan’s Law would close this loophole by clarifying that the law also applies to unloaded guns. Ethan’s Law further extends these protections to all children by changing the definition of minor from children ages 16 and under, to children ages 18 and under.

According to a 2018 study by scholars at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, 4.6 million minors in the U.S. live in homes with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm. Further, surveys by the Department of Family and Community Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital have shown that three out of four children know the location of their parent’s gun in the home, and one out of every three children admitted to handling the gun unsupervised. Without strong policy action, these statistics represent countless tragedies waiting to happen.

 

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

Sandy Hook Promise Responds to the Hearing on Extreme Risk Protection Order Legislation in New Hampshire

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Responds to the Hearing on

Extreme Risk Protection Order Legislation in New Hampshire

 

March 6, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Yesterday, the New Hampshire House of Representatives heard testimony on proposed legislation to establish Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), which would allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a judge to temporarily separate firearms from an individual who is at risk of harming themselves or someone else.

 

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

 

“As we have seen in far too many shootings, when a loved one is in crisis, family members are often the first to see the signs and signals of potential violence. 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 stand with the brave survivors that shared their grief and pain with the committee -- and support the demand for this life-saving legislation, so that no other parent has to endure the senseless loss of a child to gun violence.”

 

ERPOs have been proven to help avert suicides and other acts of gun violence and have been passed in 14 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 Introduction of the SAVE Students Act in Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Introduction of the SAVE Students Act in Ohio

 

Newtown, CT - March 6, 2019 - Today, Sandy Hook Promise applauded the introduction of the Safety and Violence Education for Students (SAVE Students) Act in the Ohio State House. This new legislation in Ohio is aimed at combating the crisis of violence, bullying, and suicide that is devastating our nation’s schools. If passed, this bill would set a new national standard for statewide school safety programming.

 

In response to the introduction of this legislation, Sandy Hook Promise released the following statement: “We know school violence is preventable when we teach youth and adults to ‘know the signs’ of violence and suicide and get help to stop a tragedy before it 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. “This legislation would protect Ohio’s students across the state and create a national model for prevention that empowers our youth to help save lives.”

 

The SAVE Students Act was introduced by State Representative Gayle Manning (R) and State Representative Glenn Holmes (D) today in the Ohio House. The legislation would require that all middle and high school students in the state have access to evidence-based programming that teaches how to combat social isolation and build inclusive community, identify the signs and signals of interpersonal violence and suicide, and how to reach out for help. It would also establish a statewide anonymous reporting system to collect tips and information about potential threats to the safety of Ohio students.

 

Additionally, the SAVE Students Act would ensure that all Ohio schools have a designated school threat assessment team that is trained on how to identify and intervene when threats of violence are made and how to get students help before a crisis. The establishment of school threat assessment teams was a leading recommendation from mental health and safety experts following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

 

“This legislation is one step forward in addressing the mental health issues and social isolation among children. As a retired elementary school teacher, I am familiar with the unfortunate reality and the growing problem of social isolation and its effect on children’s’ mental health.,” said Rep. Manning. “I am excited to work with my joint sponsor on a piece of legislation that works to better the lives of children and their mental health.”

 

“Our students deserve to be supplied with the best possible resources, especially when it comes to their safety and mental health," Rep. Holmes said. “I’m proud to work with a group like Sandy Hook Promise, who ensures their methods are effective by basing them in evidence and research.”

 

To date, more than 5.5 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 countless 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 six 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 Announces Support for Life-Saving Legislation in New Hampshire

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Announces Support for Life-Saving Legislation in New Hampshire

February 28, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Today, Sandy Hook Promise announced its support for two life-saving bills being considered by the New Hampshire state legislature. The first, known as the Jason Flatt Act (HB 652/SB 199), would require teachers and administrators in public schools to receive suicide prevention and awareness training annually. The second would establish a process for issuing Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) (HB 687) in New Hampshire. ERPOs allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a judge to temporarily separate firearms from an individual 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:

“These bills are about empowering families and schools in New Hampshire to seek help when someone is at risk of harming themselves or someone else,” 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 are heartened to see the New Hampshire legislature taking suicide seriously and urge the swift passage of these bills quickly in order to save lives.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide rates in the state of New Hampshire increased more than 48% between 1999 and 2016. The Jason Flatt Act seeks to address the growing epidemic of suicide by ensuring all public-school teachers and administrators receive two hours of suicide awareness and prevention training annually—a requirement that has already been approved in 19 states.

ERPOs have been proven to help prevent suicides and other acts of gun violence and have been passed in 14 other states. Sandy Hook Promise views both the Jason Flatt Act and ERPOs as key to ending the growing number of school shootings and 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 Celebrates Bipartisan Passage of Background Checks Legislation in House, Calls for Immediate Senate Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Celebrates Bipartisan Passage of Background Checks Legislation in House,

Calls for Immediate Senate Action

 

Newtown, CT – February 27, 2019 – Today, H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, passed the House with overwhelming support. The bill would expand the background check requirement for nearly all gun sales occurring in the U.S., including so-called “private sales” that occur at gun shows and over the internet. Current loopholes in our nation’s laws allow 25% of all guns to be bought without a background check. Background checks have been proven to save lives and have been shown to reduce levels of gun violence in states that have expanded background checks to all sales.

 

Sandy Hook Promise, a leading gun violence prevention organization, whose families have been tirelessly advocating for the passage of expanded background checks since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012, released the following statement:

 

“For more than six years, Sandy Hook Promise has been working with Republicans and Democrats to pass expanded background checks as a necessary first legislative step to ensure that no more families have to experience the loss of a child to gun violence,” 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. “Today, Congress has finally come together and taken action by passing this life-saving bill, but our work and theirs is far from over. We call on every Senator to simply do their job to protect our children from gun violence and pass universal background checks immediately. We cannot afford to wait any longer.”

 

Sandy Hook Promise has helped pass more than a dozen bipartisan laws to strengthen background checks and create Extreme Risk Protection Orders. Last year, Sandy Hook Promise proudly led the work to pass the bipartisan STOP School Violence Act of 2018 (H.R. 4909/S. 2495) that is already helping to train millions of students and adults to “know the signs” of gun violence and how to act to prevent it, stopping potential tragedies across the country.

 

More than 5.5 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 on 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.

 

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Media Contact:

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Responds to the Introduction of

Extreme Risk Protection Order Legislation in Minnesota

 

February 26, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Tomorrow, the Minnesota House of Representatives will hold hearings on H.F. 8, a bill to require criminal background checks on all gun sales, and H.F. 9, a bill to create Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). Expanding background checks and implementing extreme risk protection orders are proven methods for reducing gun violence, and the passage of these bills would save lives in Minnesota.

 

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

 

“Background checks and Extreme Risk Protection Orders are critical tools for keeping firearms out of the hands of those who seek to do harm 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 Minnesota House of Representatives for prioritizing these life-saving bills and urge their swift passage.”

 

Current loopholes in our nation’s laws allow 25% of all guns to be bought without a background check. Background checks have been proven to save lives and have been shown to reduce levels of gun violence in states that have expanded background checks to all sales. Similarly, ERPOs have been proven to help prevent acts of gun violence, including suicides, and have been passed in 14 other states. Sandy Hook Promise views both background checks and ERPOs as key parts 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’s Mark Barden Joined Elected Officials and Gun Violence Survivors for National Background Checks Now Town Hall

Sandy Hook Promise’s Mark Barden Joined Elected Officials and Gun Violence Survivors for

National Background Checks Now Town Hall

 

Newtown, CT – Leading up to a historic vote on universal background checks in the House, the first vote on gun safety in years, Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, joined Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) for a national digital town hall meeting to discuss the importance and crucial need of backgrounds checks. The town hall was livestreamed via Facebook and included other gun violence survivors such as, Congresswoman Lucy McBath (GA-06); Jaclyn Corin, March For Our Lives; Pastor Brenda Mitchell, Everytown Survivor Network; and David Chipman, Giffords.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted shortly after the shooting in Parkland, FL, 97 percent of American voters approved universal background checks, with identical levels of support among gun owners and non-gun owners.

 

The panelists showcased how gun violence has affected all communities across the country, big and small. The passage of this legislation will ensure the safety of everyone across the country, as it will make sure that firearms don’t get into the hands of someone looking to harm themselves or others. One common theme throughout the hour-long discussion is that gun violence is preventable, and this measure will help save countless lives.

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During the conversation, Mark mentioned that while policy solutions, such as background checks, is crucial, it should also be coupled with preventative measures, such training people how to Know the Signs of at-risk behaviors and how to properly intervene. This public health issue should be addressed from all angles so that the younger generations can feel safe when they go to school and in their community.

 

Sandy Hook Promise has been a leader in the call for Congressional action on background checks and bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation since its founding in the days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012 and has helped pass over a dozen bipartisan laws at the state level to strengthen background checks and create Extreme Risk Protection Orders to prevent gun violence.

 

Since its inception, more than 5.5 million youth and adults in all 50 states 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 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 Mueffing Communications

Stephanie Morris stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005