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Sandy Hook Promise Celebrates Bipartisan Passage of Background Checks Legislation in House, Calls for Immediate Senate Action

Newtown, CT – Today, H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, passed the House with overwhelming support. The bill would expand the background check requirement for nearly all gun sales occurring in the U.S., including so-called “private sales” that occur at gun shows and over the internet. Current loopholes in our nation’s laws allow 25% of all guns to be bought without a background check. Background checks have been proven to save lives and have been shown to reduce levels of gun violence in states that have expanded background checks to all sales.

Sandy Hook Promise, a leading gun violence prevention organization, whose families have been tirelessly advocating for the passage of expanded background checks since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012, released the following statement:

“For more than six years, Sandy Hook Promise has been working with Republicans and Democrats to pass expanded background checks as a necessary first legislative step to ensure that no more families have to experience the loss of a child to gun violence,” 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. “Today, Congress has finally come together and taken action by passing this life-saving bill, but our work and theirs is far from over. We call on every Senator to simply do their job to protect our children from gun violence and pass universal background checks immediately. We cannot afford to wait any longer.”

Sandy Hook Promise has helped pass more than a dozen bipartisan laws to strengthen background checks and create Extreme Risk Protection Orders. Last year, Sandy Hook Promise proudly led the work to pass the bipartisan STOP School Violence Act of 2018 (H.R. 4909/S. 2495) that is already helping to train millions of students and adults to “know the signs” of gun violence and how to act to prevent it, stopping potential tragedies across the country.

More than 5.5 million people have been trained in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training youth and adults on how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost signature programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, several teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.


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 or call 203-304-9780.

Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications | Stephanie Morris: [email protected] | 646-650-5005