Newtown, CT — Today, Sandy Hook Promise announced its support for two life-saving bills being considered by the New Hampshire state legislature. The first, known as the Jason Flatt Act (HB 652/SB 199), would require teachers and administrators in public schools to receive suicide prevention and awareness training annually. The second would establish a process for issuing Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) (HB 687) in New Hampshire. ERPOs allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a judge to temporarily separate firearms from an individual who is at risk of harming themselves or someone else.
In response to the introduction of this legislation, Sandy Hook Promise, a leading national gun violence prevention organization, issued the following statement:
“These bills are about empowering families and schools in New Hampshire to seek help when someone is at risk of harming themselves or someone else,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. “We are heartened to see the New Hampshire legislature taking suicide seriously and urge the swift passage of these bills quickly in order to save lives.”
According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide rates in the state of New Hampshire increased more than 48% between 1999 and 2016. The Jason Flatt Act seeks to address the growing epidemic of suicide by ensuring all public-school teachers and administrators receive two hours of suicide awareness and prevention training annually—a requirement that has already been approved in 19 states.
ERPOs have been proven to help prevent suicides and other acts of gun violence and have been passed in 14 other states. Sandy Hook Promise views both the Jason Flatt Act and ERPOs as key to ending the growing number of school shootings and epidemic of gun violence in our country.
About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they can happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.
Dini von Mueffling Communications Stephanie Morris: [email protected] | 646-650-5005