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Sandy Hook Promise statement on Memorial Day weekend mass shootings

NEWTOWN, Conn. — According to the Gun Violence Archive and news reports, there was a series of mass shootings on Memorial Day in states across the country, including Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina. Those were in addition to mass shootings in New Mexico and Pennsylvania that occurred earlier during the Memorial Day weekend, which typically kicks off the deadliest gun violence season of the year. The Gun Violence Archive reports that there have been at least 263 mass shootings in 2023.

In response, 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 tragedy, issued the following statement:

“Our hearts are heavy with grief for the victims of this weekend’s mass shootings and we send our wishes for physical recovery to survivors, along with trauma healing for the entire community. Yet again, people — including families with children — were gunned down as they tried to enjoy the unofficial launch of summer. We are as frustrated and angry as we are saddened by these tragic murders and devastating injuries.

“Mass shootings have become as routine as a day at the beach or a trip to the grocery store. We, as a nation, barely take notice as the human toll increases. Public officials must address this deadly gun violence with the same approach as other public health epidemics: implement policies that support communities while also addressing the root causes and national barriers to ending gun violence. The most frustrating and maddening thing is that we know how to stop mass shootings, yet we allow them to continue seemingly unabated.

“Undisputed research proves that gun violence is preventable when we know the warning signs and take action to get help. Simple policies like background checks for all gun sales, secure storage, magazine limits for firearms, and temporary transfer orders are proven to save lives and are remedies legislators can and should pass right now. We are outraged by the refusal of public officials to pass and implement these policies immediately.

“We must honor every victim and survivor of gun violence by taking action. We must use our voices to demand that America treat its most deadly epidemic by enacting and enforcing sensible gun violence prevention policies now.”


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