Senator Murray, Senate Democrats joined by survivors & family members of school shootings from across the nation to discuss how to keep young people safe from gun violence       

ICYMI: Senator Murray to Secretary DeVos: I Agree, Let’s Hold Hearings on School Shootings and Gun Safety


Scenes from today’s hearing: LEFT: Senator Murray (seated far left), along with Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) listen to the testimony of youth and parents who have experienced the tragedy of school shootings. RIGHT: Parent and gun violence prevention advocate Francine Wheeler shared the story of her son, Ben, during the hearing, who was killed in the 2013 Sandy Hook Shooting at age 6.

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate health committee, participated in a Senate hearing with survivors and family members from recent school shooting tragedies, as well as education and law enforcement officials, on protecting children from gun violence. Joined at the hearing by several of her Senate Democratic colleagues, Senator Murray heard testimony from students and families who have experienced school shootings, including at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School (Parkland, FL), Sandy Hook Elementary School (Newtown, CT), and Virginia Tech University (Blacksburg, VA), in addition to a police chief, teacher, and gun violence prevention activist. Senator Murray demanded action to finally address the epidemic of gun violence that has wrecked schools and neighborhoods in Washington state and across the nation.

“Whether it’s raising the age limit in order to purchase certain guns, banning assault weapons, passing universal background checks, or getting the CDC to conduct thorough research, we can and should act. We should act so our kids live in a world where their community isn’t remembered because of a shooting, like Parkland, Newtown, or Columbine. We should act so that other communities traumatized by school shootings—like Marysville in my own state of Washington—and the tens of thousands of kids in schools across our country who are raising their voices know that their leaders hear their calls for action and are committed to doing what’s possible to stop future acts of mass violence. I strongly believe this is a debate we can win—it’s one we must win—and it’s one I’m confident we will win,” said Senator Murray.

“I am here to testify before Congress because Ben, my six year old, can't,” said Francine Wheeler, mother of Ben Wheeler, age 6, who was killed in the 2013 Sandy Hook Shooting. “It is my job as a mother to keep my children safe. It is my responsibility as a citizen to demand the help of our elected public officials.”

“I have dedicated the rest of my life to fighting for the cause of gun safety,” said Fred Guttenberg, father of Jaime Guttenberg, age 14, who was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “I will not stop. No other parent should ever go through what my family and 16 other families are going through.”


David Hogg, a 17-year old student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, spoke at the hearing via Skype to share his story of survival from last month’s horrific mass shooting that left 17 people dead.