HARTFORD–One year after Congress passed the first piece of comprehensive gun safety legislation in three decades, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) last week hosted hundreds of survivors and advocates at the National Safer Communities Summit to celebrate the anniversary of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) and plan for the future of the anti-gun violence movement. The one-day event in Connecticut featured keynote speakers, including President Joe Biden, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, as well as panels on implementation, the direct impact of BSCA funding, and the future of federal gun safety legislation.

AP: Biden urges tougher gun restrictions, one year after Uvalde, Texas, school massacre

[…] Friday’s gathering was led by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and major gun safety groups hoping to build on recent gains.

“We actually had it wrong for a long time. We left an opportunity on the table for decades,” Murphy said of the push for gun safety legislation. He said there was an impression after Democratic election losses that dogged the party following passage of a crime bill in the 1990s that voters weren’t interested in gun safety and it was a losing issue politically.

“That was just a lie,” Murphy said. “But it was a lie the gun lobby did a great job of selling, with some help from Democrats.”

CT Mirror: In CT, Joe Biden says the tide has turned on guns in America

[…] A campaign manager before he ever sought office, Murphy practices politics as an organizer, a man who knows the importance of keeping a focus on what’s next and the necessity of celebrating victories, especially in a movement more familiar with failure than success. 

“I think that you can see that in other movements that look and feel like ours over the years — the civil rights movement, the marriage equality movement — there is a moment where, all of a sudden, the change agents have the power,” Murphy said.

That moment was Uvalde, the Texas school shooting that provided a frightening echo of the tragedy that put Murphy at the movement’s forefront: the mass shooting of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary a decade earlier.

Biden sounded the same theme.

“I believe we’ve reached a tipping point in this nation. I really do, swear to God,” Biden said. “As Sen. Murphy says, success begets success.”

NBC News: 'It is saving lives': Biden touts bipartisan gun law enacted after Uvalde shooting

Speaking to advocates and survivors of gun violence on Friday, President Joe Biden touted bipartisan legislation he signed into law a year ago but said further action was needed to address the issue.

"It’s an important first step," Biden said of the measure enacted in the wake of the Uvalde school massacre.

“I know it feels like it isn’t enough when you turn on the news and see another tragedy at a school or a grocery store, a parade or a place in America. Honestly, I feel like that was well,” the president said in remarks that lasted about 30 minutes at the National Safer Communities Summit at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Conn.

Biden highlighted aspects of the 2022 law known as the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — considered the most sweeping measure aimed at preventing gun violence in 30 years.

CT Post: Gun safety summit celebrates survivors from Sandy Hook and the nation as ‘change agents who have the power’

[Sandy Hook Promise’s Nicole] Hockley said the day was an example for the country.

“The real value of a summit like this is celebrating what was achieved a year ago and reminding people that all this funding is still available but also sharing stories of impact,” Hockley told Hearst Connecticut Media. “People need to how this can be implemented and what difference this is making in people’s lives today.”

Hartford Courant: CT is epicenter of gun violence prevention movement. Advocates ‘are at the forefront because we had to be’

Among the many that gathered at the University of Hartford for the National Safer Communities Summit were dozens of activists whose work to bring about federal gun reform legislation is rooted right here in Connecticut.

The summit, featuring speeches by President Joe Biden and other lawmakers championing gun reform, was held to mark one year since the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — the most significant gun legislation passed by Congress in three decades.

For many, the celebration felt full circle.

“It feels a little poetic that where this part of the movement started is where we’re now celebrating some significant movement over the past 10 years and then paving the way for the future,” said Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan Hockley was one of 20 first graders who were killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School more than 10 years ago.


Mark Barden, the other co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise, said that being at the UHart to celebrate one year since the legislation was passed felt like a significant marker of the success they’ve seen in the decade since his son Daniel Barden was killed at Sandy Hook.

Barden, who remembers being in Hartford at the start of his advocacy journey shortly after his son was killed, said he was grateful “to be at this inflection point 10 years later and celebrating the success.”

He said he hopes celebrating the passage of BSCA motivates activists and sends the message “that we can come together in a bipartisan way to achieve something very meaningful that should be the beginning of more to follow: More solutions that we can make, more commitments that we can make in a bipartisan way that benefits everyone, especially those in our communities that are ravaged by gun violence.”

CNN: Biden says the gun safety movement has reached a ‘tipping point’ as he marks one year since passage of major legislation

[…] Murphy said Friday’s summit, named the National Safer Communities Summit, will help sharpen the continued work of building a broader movement, while noting how hard it can be to see progress as the nation continues to grapple with mass shootings.

“We’re building a movement and you don’t build movements in silos. You got to bring people together to celebrate successes and to plan and there’s a lot of energy in that room right now,” he said.

Roll Call: Advocates, Biden mark anniversary of gun law, look to future

President Joe Biden told hundreds of activists from across the nation who came to Connecticut on Friday to celebrate the upcoming anniversary of a bipartisan law that more needs to be done to address gun violence.

"We will ban assault weapons in this country," Biden said as the crowd roared its approval. "We will ban multi-round magazines, we will hold gun makers liable."

The daylong National Safer Communities Summit at the University of Hartford, organized by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., brought together policymakers, grassroots groups, educators and public health officials.