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Sandy Hook Promise Responds to President’s State of the Union Message and Demands Action on More Bipartisan Solutions

Statement of Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund Co-Founder and CEO Mark Barden

NEWTOWN, Conn. — In last night’s State of the Union address, President Biden underscored his administration’s commitment to policies that can prevent gun violence and save lives. President Biden’s address comes at a critical moment for both gun violence and student safety across the country.

President Biden has been an advocate for sensible gun safety legislation since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, standing by the families of loved ones after a bill to expand background checks did not pass in the Senate. Today, the issue of gun violence persists, and while we applaud President Biden’s steadfast commitment to doing something to change the course of this epidemic, we call upon him – and all elected officials – to do more. We know that the only path forward is to work together to build bipartisan solutions that protect children in schools, homes, and communities.

In the first three months of the year, gun violence has ravaged America and threatened students’ wellbeing in the classroom and in their communities. From a school shooting in Perry, Iowa to a mass shooting injuring eight students just this week in Philadelphia, the toll of gun violence continues to wreak havoc on American communities. Our youth are bearing the brunt of this crisis, with guns remaining the leading cause of death for people under the age of 19 in the United States.

Mark Barden, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, made the following statement in response:

“Throughout his administration, President Biden has made significant headway toward gun violence prevention, including launching the first-ever Office of Gun Violence Prevention and continuing to implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most sweeping gun safety law passed in three decades. We applaud these actions as they work to protect the rights of responsible gun owners while investing in community safety — and we remain steadfast in the belief that more can and should be done.”

“Partisan fighting has held the issue back long enough, while countless innocent lives have been taken in the meantime. At Sandy Hook Promise, we are championing bipartisan solutions to gun violence at the state and federal level, including scaling and implementing extreme risk protection orders to red and purple states (aka temporary transfer laws) and introducing initiatives focused on youth safety and mental wellbeing, like the PLAN Act. We call on Congressional leaders and the Biden Administration to prioritize these critical solutions and continue to work with us to write the next generation of bipartisan solutions to keep kids safe. As this year’s relentless pace of mass shootings has demonstrated, these policies are needed now more than ever.”

“Not one more community should have to face the trauma endured as a result of gun violence. We stand committed to strive for progress in honor of the victims and families of loved ones whose lives were taken in mass shootings. With an overwhelming majority of Americans in support of sensible gun safety reform, it’s critical that elected officials prioritize solutions that prevent gun violence. As we enter an important election season, it’s time for Congress to listen to our call by continuing to prioritize policies that save lives while preserving rights. The safety of children in the U.S. should not be a partisan issue.”


The Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund (SHPAF) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization committed to protecting all children from gun violence in schools, homes, and communities. The SHP Action Fund advances a holistic policy platform that promotes gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education. The organization works at the state and federal level to pass nonpartisan legislation through inclusive partnerships, diverse grassroots education, and community mobilization. It is part of Sandy Hook Promise, founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.

Media Contact:

Aimee Thunberg | [email protected] | 646-761-5579