Newtown Action Alliance Statement on the School Shooting in  Highlands Ranch, Colorado

For Immediate Release

May 8, 2019


John Kelley



Newtown Action Alliance Statement on the School Shooting Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Newtown, CT - Po Murray, the Chairwoman of Newtown Action Alliance, released the following statement in response to the tragic school shooting in STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado that resulted in the death of one student and eight injuries: 

We send our love, support and prayers to the students, staff, first responders and community members who have been impacted by the devastating school shooting yesterday in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. We are heartbroken that the students in Highlands Ranch were killed, injured and terrorized. Parents were petrified that they would not be united with their children during the “reunification process.” 

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock reported that the two student suspects used at least two handguns in the attack on Tuesday afternoon. The number of fatalities was significantly greater in Newtown when the gunman used an AR-15 and high capacity magazines - weapons that belong in wars and not in the hands of civilians.  

According to the Gun Violence Archive, the Highlands Ranch shooting was the 23rd American elementary/secondary school shootings and 115th mass shooting incident in 2019. We have repeatedly warned other communities that if it could happen in Newtown then it can happen anywhere. Americans should not be shocked when these mass shooting incidents occur in their communities. The lawmakers in many statehouses, Governor mansions, U.S. Capitol Building and the White House have failed to pass gun control legislation for decades. 

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2018, eight children are killed by guns in the United States every single day and firearms are the second biggest cause of death after car crashes among young people. As a nation, we should be ashamed that we do nothing to protect our precious children from gun violence.

Until more Americans hold their local, state and federal elected representatives accountable, our children will not be safe in our schools or in any public space. The current President and too many Republican Members of the 116th Congress have demonstrated that they will not take any action. Any elected official who only sends thoughts and prayers after this latest shooting are willing to sacrifice our children to protect the gun industry profits and they should be voted out in 2020.

Since the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy, over 600,000 Americans have been killed or injured by guns and mass shooting incidents have escalated. Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed by guns than people from other industrialized nations. 

We know that our elected leaders can do more to end gun violence in America. State legislators and governors can pass laws similar to the ones passed in Connecticut after the Sandy Hook tragedy and Congress can and must pass the following gun control measures:

1.    Background checks on all gun sales

2.    Close the Charleston loophole or “delayed denial” where federally licensed dealers can sell guns if three business days pass without a verdict from the FBI

3.    Restrict and penalize firearm possession by or transfer to a person subject to a domestic violence protection order or a person (including dating partners) convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor

4.    Prohibit firearm sale or transfer to and receipt or possession by an individual who has: (1) been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor hate crime, or (2) received from any court an enhanced hate crime misdemeanor sentence

5.    Mandatory waiting period for gun purchases

6.    Red flag/gun violence restraining order/extreme risk protection order to temporarily prohibit an individual deemed by a judge to pose a danger to self or others, from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and allow law enforcement to remove any firearms or ammunition already in the individual’s possession

7.    Handgun permitting, licensing, training, and registration

8.    Ban bump-fire stocks and other dangerous accessories

9.    Ban future manufacture and sale of assault weapons, regulate existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act of 1934, and initiate a federal gun buyback program

10.  Limits on high capacity magazines

11.  Prohibit open carry

12.  Make gun trafficking a federal crime

13.  Repeal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to eliminate the corporate gun industry special protection from civil justice law that no other industry enjoys

14.  Fund government research on gun violence

15.  Child access prevention/safe storage requirement

16.  Provide resources for people with mental illness

17.  Microstamped code on each bullet that links it to a specific gun

18.  “Smart guns” with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or biometric recognition (fingerprint) capability

19.  Limit gun purchases to one gun per month to reduce trafficking and straw purchases

20.  Require licensing for ammunition dealers

21.  Enhance accountability of federally licensed firearms dealers

22.  Digitize the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gun records

23.  Raise the minimum age for gun purchases to 21

24.  Ban 3D and ghost guns

25.  Prohibit guns in schools and college campuses

26.  Report lost and stolen guns


Newtown Action Alliance ( is a Newtown-based, national grassroots organization formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Our mission is to achieve the steady and continuous reduction of gun violence through legislative and cultural changes.