NEWTOWN, Conn. — Today, the Kids Providing Resources for Optimal Outcomes Against Fatalities Act of 2023 or “Kid PROOF Act,” was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill would create a grant program to help families store medications and other potentially dangerous items at no cost to them. Sandy Hook Promise worked with members of Congress to draft this bipartisan legislation.
Mark Barden, co-founder and CEO of the Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, issued the following statement in response:
“Today, members of Congress took an important step to help prevent tragedies at home. The ‘Kid PROOF Act’ will give parents and families the support they need to protect kids by giving grants for lockboxes and safes to keep potentially lethal items away from children and teens. With the grants provided by children’s health care providers, the ‘Kid PROOF Act’ will support families in addressing rising rates of youth suicide and overdose.
“We commend Sens. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) for their leadership in introducing this bipartisan bill. In doing so, they are prioritizing our children and taking an important step to stem violence and youth suicide. ”
“Tragically, our country is in the middle of mental health crisis that has caused a dramatic increase in youth suicide and overdose. As the number of high school students experiencing feelings of sadness and loneliness continues to rise, we must be focused on and intentional about saving lives,” said Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM). “That’s why I am introducing this bipartisan legislation to protect youth by allowing health care providers to purchase suicide prevention tools to properly store items that can be used for harm. This evidence-based approach is a much-needed guardrail that has been proven to save lives, and it’s critical that we use every tool available to support suicide prevention.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said, “Every day, more than 3,000 American high schoolers attempt suicide. We have a responsibility to address this critical issue. The Kid PROOF Act would equip more families with effective tools to protect our youth from this preventable tragedy.”
“AFSP is proud to support the Kid PROOF Act, critical legislation to reduce access to lethal means for our youngest and most vulnerable populations,” said American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Laurel Stine, J.D., M.A. “Youth and young adults experience a heightened risk of suicide; according to the CDC, suicide was the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10-19 in 2021. Helping families and communities keep environments safe from lethal means, as an essential and effective component of suicide prevention, is a priority for AFSP, and we stand ready to advocate for the enactment of the Kid PROOF Act.”
“We’re pleased to support the Kid PROOF Act, a vital piece of legislation that would further the safety of children by giving parents the means and tools to store potentially harmful objects,” said Christy Gleason, Vice President of Policy, Advocacy & Campaigns for Save the Children. “Far too often, children face harm that is easily preventable, inhibiting them from living their lives to the fullest. Save the Children believes every child has the right to a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm – and the Kid PROOF Act is important to realizing this bright future for kids.
Matthew Cook, CEO of Children’s Hospital Association said, “The national emergency in youth mental health continues to put too many children and teens at risk of self-injury, suicide and overdose. Children’s hospitals support the bipartisan Kid PROOF Act, which will help to provide parents and guardians with the resources and tools that they need to keep their children safe, especially during a mental health crisis.”
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