Press Release

AFT’s Weingarten Celebrates Senate Passage of Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

For Release:


Alexis Lopez

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement responding to the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act:

“Mass shootings, homicides and suicides have taken countless lives, traumatized many more and sparked an ongoing movement for commonsense gun safety in response to the deadly epidemic of gun violence. Finally, the U.S. Senate has taken action, an important first step in eradicating America’s toxic combination of guns and lack of access to mental-emotional supports.

“This action comes on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court made the indefensible decision to overturn more than a century of New York state law and do the bidding of the National Rifle Association and gun-makers. The Senate’s passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is long-needed movement on this issue—and it’s important that they took action today in the wake of a dangerous and radical Supreme Court decision.

“We would have liked the Senate to go further to end gun violence, as other countries have, but the bill includes important measures that will save lives, including: increased funding for community violence intervention programs, mental health initiatives, community schools and getting guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others.

“We are grateful for this moment. In memory of everyone lost to gun violence, and for every survivor, activist and ally in the ongoing fight for gun safety, we thank the bipartisan group of senators who made this bill a reality. We know we can count on the House of Representatives and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership to pass the legislation as soon as possible. We vow to continue to fight for a world where ending gun violence is the rule, not the exception.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.