Attorney General James' Statement On Anniversary Of School Shooting At Sandy Hook Elementary School

Attorney General James’ Statement on Anniversary of
School Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School

NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James today released a statement on the anniversary of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that took the lives of 20 children and six educators:

“Seven years ago today, our hearts were forever broken by an unthinkable horror that occurred on a quiet morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School. And on this day in every year since, we remember the precious lives we lost that tragic day and hold their families and the Newtown community close in our thoughts. But the truth is, we carry their memories, and the memories of countless other loved ones lost to senseless acts of gun violence, in our hearts daily.

“The anniversary of the Sandy Hook School shooting is a solemn reminder that in the face of unspeakable grief, of unimaginable sorrow, the answer is, and must continue to be, rooted in compassion and commonsense. It remains imperative that we focus on building bridges and connections with children and families within our schools and communities. We must endeavor to march forward together—unwavering and undeterred—in our pursuit of gun violence prevention policies and laws. And we must always choose love over hate, so that one day, no family or community must endure such heartbreak ever again.”

Background: Office of the Attorney General Gun Violence Prevention Efforts

Attorney General James is committed to reducing gun violence and to keeping illegal weapons off our streets in the first place. While more work remains to be done, the Office of the Attorney General continues to use powers of the Office to help promote public safety.

Ghost Guns

The New York Attorney General’s Office was the first state law enforcement agency in the nation to charge people for selling so-called ghost guns, guns that are manufactured from parts sold over the internet and do not have serial numbers, making them untraceable by law enforcement. In September, Attorney General James shut down 16 websites that were manufacturing and/or selling nearly complete assault weapons into New York State.

Attorney General’s Gun Buyback Program

The Attorney General’s Gun Buyback Program provides a safe and convenient option for New Yorkers to sell guns they don’t want, on a “no questions asked” basis. Since 2013, the Office has partnered with local law enforcement agencies to hold 24 gun buyback events at churches and community centers all across the state. The Office has recovered more than 2,700 guns.

Fighting for the Rights of States to Protect Residents

While New York State has some of the toughest gun safety laws in the nation, Attorney General James has stood up for the rights of other states and jurisdictions to implement laws to strengthen public safety in their communities. Attorney General James led a coalition of 13 attorneys general in August 2019 defending New York’s ability to implement commonsense gun safety regulations in order to protect residents in an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. In July 2019, Attorney General James defended California’s ban against large-capacity magazines arguing that states have a right to implement reasonable firearm restrictions to reduce the prevalence and lethality of gun violence. The Office filed an amicus brief in October 2019 defending Vermont’s right to ban large-capacity magazines and protect public safety.