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Sandy Hook Promise applauds Senate action to expand background checks

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Today, Sen. Chris Murphy (CT) led 47 Senators, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (IL) and Richard Blumenthal (CT) in introducing the “Background Check Expansion Act.” The proposed law would help keep firearms from getting into the hands of individuals who are prohibited from owning them.

“We applaud Sen. Murphy for introducing the ‘Background Check Expansion Act.’ Last year, Congress took a bold step forward on background checks in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The Background Check Expansion Act will further strengthen this important component of safe gun ownership,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund, and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy on December 14, 2012. “Background checks are proven to be effective at reducing gun violence and we need to do all we can to end this epidemic plaguing our nation.”

Currently, Federal law only requires background checks when the gun seller is a licensed dealer. Unlicensed private sellers, including those who make sales at gun shows and over the internet, aren’t required to perform background checks on their customers. State laws that have closed the private sale loophole and expanded background checks for all sales are proven to lower rates of gun violence.

“In addition to Senators Murphy, Schumer, Durbin, and Blumenthal, we thank all of the cosponsors including U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (NV), Jeff Merkley (OR), Edward Markey (MA), Bob Menendez (NJ), Chris Coons (DE), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Tina Smith (MN), Sherrod Brown (OH), Ron Wyden (OR), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Bob Casey (PA), Mark Warner (VA), Bernie Sanders (VT), Maria Cantwell (WA), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Chris Van Hollen (MD), Cory Booker (NJ), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Jacky Rosen (NV), Tom Carper (DE), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Ben Cardin (MD), Tammy Duckworth (IL), Brian Schatz (HI), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Michael Bennet (CO), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Peter Welch (VT), Mazie Hirono (HI), Mark Kelly (AZ), Tim Kaine (VA), Alex Padilla (CA), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Martin Heinrich (NM), Patty Murray (WA), Gary Peters (MI), Ben Ray Luján (NM), Maggie Hassan (NH), Raphael Warnock (GA), Jack Reed (RI), Jon Ossoff (GA), John Hickenlooper (CO), Angus King (ME), and John Fetterman (PA)— for their leadership and bold action to help end the gun violence epidemic.

“This is not a partisan issue; gun violence is an American tragedy that plagues every community. That’s why the overwhelming majority of voters support sensible gun policy reforms and Congress should act now to pass the ‘Background Check Expansion Act.’”


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