FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dini von Mueffing Communications
Sandy Hook Promise Statement on White House Gun Violence Proposals
March 12, 2018 – Today, Sandy Hook Promise released the following statement on President Trump’s proposals to address gun violence. These proposals come after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the other 17 school shootings that have happened in this country since January 1st. Sandy Hook Promise participated in the February 21st listening session with the President and Vice President and urged action on Extreme Risk Protection Orders, the STOP School Violence Act (H.R. 4909 and S. 2495), and stronger and universal background checks.
“We welcome the President’s support for a multi-prong approach to gun violence prevention and urge his continued leadership to see his proposals on Extreme Risk Protection Orders, the STOP School Violence Act, and the Fix NICS Act signed into law.
As the President proposes in his plan, we believe we must ensure that all of our students and school systems are trained to know the signs of violence and report it through the STOP School Violence Act, and all families and law enforcement must have access to Extreme Risk Protection Orders to ensure they can intervene when they learn someone is a threat to self or others to prevent gun violence before it happens. We agree that SHP's Know the Signs training and ERPOs should be implemented across every state immediately.
We also stand ready to work with the President and Congress to pass the Fix NICS Act to improve our background checks system. But we strongly urge the President and Congress to take further action to pass universal background checks on all gun sales because it is the only way we can ensure that criminals and dangerous individuals cannot legally buy a firearm in this country, and our background checks system will not truly be strong until such a law is signed.
The President’s plan shows that there is room for common ground and we must work together to pass solutions – big and small. We do not agree on everything. We absolutely do not need more guns in schools or to fortress our schools like prisons. And we can and must take additional, robust action to ensure that individuals who are a danger to themselves or others do not have access to firearms.
We continue to stand with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas in demanding change now, before any more communities are torn apart by preventable gun violence. We call on our elected officials and the President to see change through to protect our children and communities.”
Below are things everyone can do today to help ensure that all students and communities are safe:
Support Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs):
· An ERPO is state-level legislation that temporarily removes guns from a person deemed to be an imminent risk to themselves or others.
· This legislation doesn't infringe on the Second Amendment, and gun rights can be reinstated once the person exhibiting at-risk behaviors is no longer a threat.
· ERPOs are available in Connecticut, Indiana, Oregon, California, and Washington and over 19 other states have introduced similar legislation.
Call your Representatives to support H.R. 4909 and S. 2495, STOP School Violence Act of 2018:
· This legislation invests in early intervention and prevention programs to stop school violence.
· The STOP School Violence Act invests federal funding each year to:
· Train school personnel, local law enforcement, and students to identify warning signs and intervene to stop interpersonal violence and suicide.
· Develop and implement anonymous reporting systems for threats of school violence, bullying, suicide, and mental health and substance abuse issues in coordination with local law enforcement.
· Train and operate school threat assessment and intervention teams to preemptively triage threats before tragedy hits.
· Enable better coordination between schools and local law enforcement.
Talk to your legislators:
· Call for passage of the “FIX NICS Act” that aims to increase state compliance with and improve the accuracy of existing background check systems for firearm purchases.
· Demand a vote on universal background checks, requiring background checks on all firearm sales, including those at gun shows, over the internet, or in classified ads.
Train youth to spot the signs and how to properly intervene through our Know the Signs programs:
· With these proven programs, students, educators, parents and community leaders can learn how to identity at-risk behaviors, assess threats and properly intervene before a tragedy occurs.
· 80 percent of school shooters told someone of their violent plans or exhibited warning signs.
· To date, these programs have helped avert several school shooting plots and threats, as well as teen suicides and 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 it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults to identify, intervene and get help for at-risk individuals. 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.