Sandy Hook Promise Statement on Congressional Background Check Bill
Newtown, CT - Sandy Hook Promise gives its appreciation and thanks to the coalition of U.S. House members who today introduced the bipartisan King-Thompson Background Check legislation.
Sandy Hook Promise Advocacy Director Mark Barden, father of Daniel Barden, one of the 20 children and six adults murdered in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, issued the following statement on behalf of the organization:
"Since our inception, Sandy Hook Promise has supported bipartisan, sensible solutions to reduce the causes of gun violence and save lives. The inability of the Senate to pass a commonsense measure like background checks in 2013 was a huge disappointment; especially considering the majority of citizens supported the legislation in countless polls. However, that disappointment has never deterred us from calling for increased enforcement of existing gun safety laws and improvements in the mental healthcare system, including early identification and intervention.
"Though a background check alone cannot solve all gun violence, it is a needed step and is critical to help ensure that people who should not have access to firearms, cannot easily access them. The proposed legislation does not impact responsible gun owners or Constitutional rights, as it is merely an expansion and enforcement of existing legislation. Without the expansion, criminals, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill who have been successfully stopped for more than 40 years from buying a firearm where the background check system is used, need only go to private sales at gun shows, online or in the classified ads to purchase the firearm instead. This is not good enough. The background check system needs to be expanded to cover all commercial firearm sales.
“We applaud Congress for taking this step in closing the gaps in current policy and we remain committed to passing this legislation, as well as other commonsense solutions that keep our children, communities and our country safer."