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Sandy Hook Promise applauds Texas House action to prevent mass shootings

Bill passed to restrict access to semi-automatic rifles

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Yesterday, after a deadly weekend mass shooting at a mall in Allen, Texas and following the mass shooting of five people at a home in Cleveland, Texas late in April, a Texas House committee advanced a bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic rifles.

“We appreciate the effort by Texas legislators to reduce mass shootings and save lives by limiting access to semi-automatic rifles,” 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 highly lethal weapons, which are the preferred firearms of mass shooters.”

The bill narrowly focuses on semi-automatic rifles 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. Semi-automatic weapons like these 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 them to carry out some of our nation’s deadliest mass shootings. The Texas legislation would raise the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.

“From classrooms to homes to shopping malls, semi-automatic rifles 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. “

After the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, The New York Times reported that, “[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.” What the general public has come to understand as an ”assault weapon” were used in nearly half of the mass shootings in 2022.

The overwhelming majority of voters support sensible gun policy reforms,” said Barden. “We applaud Texas legislators for listening to voters and advancing this legislation to save 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. 

Media Contact: 

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