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Everytown Responds to Vice President Harris’ Visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

March 23, 2024

WASHINGTON — Today, Vice President Harris visited Parkland, Florida, where she spoke with survivors of the February 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. During her visit, Vice President Harris highlighted the the launch of, the national Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) resource center in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, made possible by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), and also shared new data showing that enhanced background checks by DOJ have kept more than 2,300 firearms out of the hands of dangerous and prohibited persons under the age of 21. Over a quarter of those denials — 667 as of this month — were based solely on information received through the additional BSCA-enabled outreach.

Vice President Harris also called on the 21 states and the District of Columbia that have enacted Extreme Risk laws to utilize BSCA funds to implement their ERPO programs and called on states without Extreme Risk laws to pass them — highlighting the Administration’s comprehensive approach to addressing gun violence.

This announcement, while welcomed, comes after Congress slashed nearly $50 million from ATF’s budget for Fiscal Year 2024 and more than $32 million from the FBI’s budget, undermining the work that these federal law enforcement agencies undertake to prevent gun violence, solve gun crimes, and keep communities safe. Gun extremists in the House of Representatives have been set on defunding the ATF, FBI, and DOJ – a move that would embolden criminals and endanger our communities.

“Common-sense gun laws, like Extreme Risk laws, save lives — and it remains critical that the historic Bipartisan Safer Communities Act provides states with these laws on the books the federal funds to help implement them,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We’re grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for honoring survivors with action, and we urge legislators in both statehouses and Congress to follow their lifesaving lead.”

“When it comes to gun safety, the Biden-Harris Administration isn’t just offering thoughts and prayers– they are taking meaningful action to save lives. Guns have become the number one killer of young people in America, and Vice President Harris’ time with the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting today reflects that she’s giving this crisis the attention it demands,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, Executive Director for Moms Demand Action. “The data shared today underscores the commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration to fulfill the life-saving promises of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and our movement will keep supporting them every step of the way.”

“Nothing can change what happened to my community six years ago, but knowing that we’re making tangible progress to prevent gun violence gives me so much hope for the future,” said Sari Kaufman, a survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a volunteer leader with the Yale University Students Demand Action chapter. “Students won’t go back to accepting gun violence as the norm and we’re thankful the Biden-Harris Administration shares that same commitment.”

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) is the first federal gun safety bill to pass in almost 30 years. BSCA established an enhanced background check process for gun buyers under age 21, provides federal funding to implement state Extreme Risk laws, helps disarm more domestic abusers by addressing the dating partner loophole, and makes critical investments in  community violence intervention programs, among other life-saving items.

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