Two bills introduced to restrict access to assault weapons
NEWTOWN, Conn. — Yesterday, after a deadly weekend of mass shootings, two bills that would help curb mass shootings were introduced in the U.S. Senate. The first would limit access to assault weapons, and the second would raise the minimum age to purchase assault weapons.
“We appreciate the efforts by Congress to reduce mass shootings and save lives by limiting access to highly lethal weapons,” 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. “We are eager to see action to restrict access to these deadly weapons of war, which are the preferred firearms of school shooters.”
Assault weapons are military-style firearms intended to fire multiple rounds in quick succession — killing people quickly and with little effort. They can be used with detachable magazines that can make them even more lethal. Assault weapons were primarily designed for use in war and battlefields. But because there currently is no federal restriction on the sale of these weapons, civilians have been able to purchase assault weapons to carry out some of our nation’s deadliest mass shootings. This legislation would restrict the sale of these kinds of firearms to private citizens.
“From classrooms to street corners, assault weapons are menacing America,” said Barden. “My son and 25 of his schoolmates and educators were gunned down and killed in less than five minutes because an AR-15 was used by the shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “
According to The New York Times, “[s]ix of the nine deadliest mass shootings in the United States since 2018 were by people who were 21 or younger, representing a shift for mass casualty shootings.” Assault weapons were used in nearly half of the mass shootings in 2022. Congress previously passed an assault weapons ban in 1994, which expired in 2004. During the decade of its existence, mass shootings declined, as compared to the decade before and the decade after its passage.
“The overwhelming majority of voters support sensible gun policy reforms,” said Barden. “We are working with members of Congress to advance legislation like this so that together we can save more lives.”
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.
Aimee Thunberg | [email protected] | 646-761-5579