Washington, D.C. — Today, Sandy Hook Promise co-founders Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley joined President Biden and members of Congress at a White House celebration of the passage of the ‘Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’, a gun safety package that addresses the rising rates of gun violence nationwide. The new law puts in place enhanced background checks for buyers under the age of 21, partially closing the dating loophole (aka the “boyfriend” loophole), funding to support states in implementing extreme risk protection orders, and additional funding for mental health services and school safety.
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 shooting, and Nicole Hockley, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise Foundation and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, were both instrumental in bringing members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to pass the law.
“Lawmakers — including Connecticut Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, as well as Senator John Cornyn of Texas — chose protecting children and communities over partisan politics,” said Barden. “We worked with them side-by-side to find common ground so Senate leaders could negotiate the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.”
Sen. Murphy noted that Sandy Hook Promise played an important role in bridging partisan divides. He commended Barden and Hockley for their unrelenting efforts to get the first major gun safety legislation passed in decades.
“I am so grateful to my friends at Sandy Hook Promise, who, despite ten years of setbacks and frustrations, never gave up. Today would not be possible if it weren’t for the strength of this movement and the tireless efforts of every survivor, family member, and advocate to end our nation’s epidemic of gun violence. Mark and Nicole are my heroes, and our fight together doesn’t end here,” said Sen. Murphy.
Sandy Hook Promise played a prominent role in passing the legislation. Barden and others in the organization worked closely with members of Congress and congressional staff to find common ground on gun safety measures. Specifically, Barden and Hockley met with Sens. Murphy and Cornyn to help facilitate the Senate compromise.
“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is the starting line — not the finish line,” said Hockley. “Lawmakers in Congress and across the country must continue to implement and expand proven, common-sense reforms that can be immediately put to work to protect our children and communities.”
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