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10 Years Since Sandy Hook: A Decade of Devastation Caused by Assault Weapons

12/13/2022

2012

December 14, 2012

On December 14, 2012, the news of a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, shook the nation. That day would become infamous for the tragic loss of 27 lives, including 20 children between six and seven years old and six educators. The shooter, armed with an assault weapon and high-capacity magazine, fired 154 shots in less than five minutes.

Now, 10 years later, we are still working to pass life-saving reforms that could have prevented this horrific day and so many other tragedies that have happened in the years following. Since the shooting at Sandy Hook, there have been 25 high-profile mass shootings involving an assault weapon, resulting in 318 people fatally shot and another 1,219 people who were shot and survived.

Please read on to learn about these heartbreaking tragedies and honor the victims and survivors with action.

A memorial to the 20 first graders and six educators killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting opened to the public on Nov. 13, 2022, a month before the 10th anniversary of the massacre. Photos by Liam Enea.
We honor with action: Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel D’Avino, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Dylan Hockley, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, Madeleine Hsu, Catherine Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Nancy Lanza, Jesse Lewis, Ana Marquez-Greene, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Anne Marie Murphy, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison Wyatt

2013

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, lawmakers introduced gun reform legislation, the hallmark of which was the Assault Weapon Ban of 2013. The bill was introduced by Sen.Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA), on January 24, 2013, one month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

When assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are used in a shooting, like they were at Sandy Hook, 155% more people are shot and 47% more people are killed. Legislation to ban these uniquely lethal weapons was passed in 1994; however, that ban expired in 2004. During the time that the ban was in effect, 89 people died in 12 massacres. However, in the decade after the ban expired, over 300 people were shot and killed in 34 mass shootings — a 239% increase in fatalities.

During the 10-year period the federal assault weapons ban was in effect, mass shooting fatalities were 70% less likely to occur compared to the periods before and after the ban.

Unfortunately, the Assault Weapon Ban of 2013 was defeated in the Senate on April 17, 2013 by a vote of 40 to 60. However, that same year, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and Washington, D.C., passed assault weapon bans at the state level.

June 7, 2013

In Santa Monica, CA, a shooter armed with an assault weapon killed five people and left at least three others wounded after going on a shooting spree near the Santa Monica College campus.

We honor with action: Samir Zawahri, Christopher Zawahri, Carlos Navarro Franco, Marcela Diaz Franco, Margarita Gomez
House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi consoles Sarah Brady at a press conference as part of a 2013 Brady lobby day.

2015

July 16, 2015

In Chattanooga, TN, a shooter armed with an assault weapon and high-capacity magazine fired at a military recruiting center and a U.S. Navy Reserve center killing five people and injuring two others.

We honor with action: Carson A. Homquist, Randall Smith, Thomas J. Sullivan, Squire K. “Skip” Wells, David A. Wyatt

December 2, 2015

In San Bernardino, CA, two individuals armed with assault weapons and high-capacity magazines opened fire killing 14 people and wounding 22 others at the Inland Regional Center, which provides services to people with developmental disabilities. One of the shooters was an employee of the County health department, which was hosting a holiday party at the center when the attack took place.

We honor with action: Robert Adams, Isaac Amanios, Bennetta Betbadal, Harry Bowman, Sierra Clayborn, Juan Espinoza, Aurora Godoy, Shannon Johnson, Larry Daniel Kaufman, Damiam Meins, Tin Nguyen, Nicholas Thalasinos, Yvette Velasco, Michael Raymond Wetzel

85% of fatalities from public mass shootings were caused by assault rifles.

2016

June 12, 2016

In Orlando, FL, a shooter armed with an assault weapon and high-capacity magazine opened fire on Pulse, an LGBTQ+ nightclub that was hosting a “Latin Night.” In what was the deadliest act of violence against LGBTQ+ people in the U.S, 49 people (mostly Latino) were killed and 53 others were injured.

We honor with action: Stanley Almodovar III, AManda Alvear, Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, Alejandro Barrios Martinez, Martin Benitez Torres, Antonio D. Brown, Darryl R. Burt II, Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, Angel L. Candelario-Padro, Simon A. Carrillo Fernandez, Juan Chavez-Martinez, Luis D. Conde, Cory J. Connell, Tevin E. Crosby, Franky J. Dejesus Velazquez, Deonka D. Drayton, Mercedez M. Flores, Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, Juan R. Guerrero, Paul T. Henry, Frank Hernandez, Miguel A. Honorato, Javier Jorge-Reyes, Jason B. Josaphat, Eddie J. Justice, Anthony L. Laureano Disla, Christopher A. Leinonen, Brenda L. Marquez McCool, Jean C. Mendez Perez, Akyra Monet Murray, Kimberly Morris, Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, Luis O. Ocasio-Capo, Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, Joel Rayon Paniagua, Enrique L. Rios Jr., Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, Christopher J. Sanfeliz, Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, Edward Sotomayor Jr., Shane E. Tomlinson, Leroy Valentin Fernandez, Luis S. Vielma, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, Jerald A. Wright

After the shooting at Pulse nightclub, Congress introduced a number of gun reform measures. While none of those measures passed, 170 lawmakers participated in a day-long sit-in protest on the House floor demanding action on gun violence prevention legislation.

July 7, 2016

In Dallas, TX, a gunman used an assault weapon to ambush a group of police officers, killing five and injuring a number of others.

We honor with action: Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, Officer Michael Krol, Sgt. Michael Smith, Officer Brent Thompson, Officer Patricio “Patrick” Zamarripa
Left: A memorial for shooting victims outside of Pulse; Right: Gun violence prevention advocates gather outside the Capitol after House members stage a sit-in protest in support of gun reform measures.

2017

October 1, 2017

In Las Vegas, NV, a shooter opened fire on the crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival. Using assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and accessories such as bump stocks, the shooter fired more than 1,000 bullets in just ten minutes, killing 60 people and wounding more than 400 others.

We honor with action: Hannah Ahlers, Heather Alvarado, Dorene Anderson, Carrie Barnette, Jack Beaton, Steve Berger, Candice Bowers, Denise Burditus, Sandy Casey, Andrea Castilla, Denise Cohen, Austin Davis, Thomas Day, Jr., Christiana Duarte, Stacee Etcheber, Brian Fraser, Keri Galvan, Dana Gardner, Angela Gomez, Rocio Guillen Rocha, Charleston Hartfield, Chris Hazencomb, Jennifer Topaz Irvine, Teresa Nicol Kimura, Jessica Klymchuk, Carly Kreibaum, Rhonda LeRocque, Victor Link, Jordan McIldoon, Kelsey Meadows, Calla-Marie Medig, James "Sonny" Melton, Patricia Mestas, Austin Meyer, Adrian Murfitt, Rachael Parker, Jenny Parks, Carrie Parsons, Lisa Patterson, John Phippen, Melissa Ramirez, Jordyn Rivera, Quinton Robbins, Cameron Robinson, Tara Roe, Lisa Romero-Muniz, Chris Roybal, Brett Schwanbeck, Bailey Schweitzer, Laura Shipp, Erick Silva, Susan Smith, Brennan Stewart, Derrick “Bo” Taylor, Neysa Tonks, Michelle Vo, Kurt von Tillow, Bill Wolfe

Brady Legal filed a class action lawsuit against bump stock manufacturers and retailers on behalf of Las Vegas shooting victims in 2017. The U.S. Department of Justice later took action to ban bump stocks.

November 5, 2017

In Sutherland Springs, TX, a shooter opened fire on the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. The shooter, wearing tactical gear and a ballistic vest, used an assault weapon and high-capacity magazines to fire approximately 700 rounds in 11 minutes, killing 26 people and wounding more than 20 others during the church’s Sunday service.

We honor with action: Annabelle Pomeroy, Keith Allen Braden, Robert Corrigan, Shani Corrigan, Bryan Holcombe, Karla Holcombe, Marc Daniel “Danny” Holcombe, Noah Holcombe, Crystal Holcomb & unborn child, Megan Holcomb, Emily Holcomb, Greg Holcomb, Dennis Johnson, Sara Johnson, Haley Krueger, Robert Marshall, Karen Marshall, Tara McNulty, Therese Rodriguez, Ricardo Rodriguez, Joann Ward, Brooke Ward, Emily Ward, Peggy Lynn Warden, Lula Woicinski White

Members of Brady Legal’s team were co-counsel for Sutherland Springs Plaintiffs who filed suit against the gun dealer that supplied the shooter with the high-capacity assault rifle used in the shooting. Additionally, Brady has worked to support the victims and survivors of Sutherland Springs by demanding the U.S. Justice Department drop its appeal of a federal court ruling that held the U.S. Air Force partially responsible for the shooting. The Air Force failed to report the gunman’s history of violence to the FBI database used for background checks, therefore allowing the shooter to purchase his weapons.

November 14, 2017

In Rancho Tehama, CA, a series of shootings by a gunman with a ghost gun style assault weapon resulted in the death of five people, and injured 18 others.

We honor with action: Barbara Ann Glisan, Danny Lee Elliott, Diana Lee Steele, Joseph Edward McHugh III, Michelle Iris McFadyen

Represented by Brady Legal, families of Rancho Tehama shooting victims filed the nation’s first two civil lawsuits against the ghost gun industry alleging that the industry engages in a business that intentionally undermines federal and state gun laws, utilizing loopholes that enable prohibited purchasers to acquire firearms without a Brady Background Check therefore leading to the Rancho Tehama gunman being able to carry out the shooting.

Left: Las Vegas survivors at Senate hearing on bump stocks; Right: Sutherland Springs shooting victims Sarah and Dennis Johnson

Eight states – Delaware, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York – and Washington, D.C., have enacted assault weapons bans, but are still vulnerable to weaker gun laws of surrounding states.

2018

January 28, 2018

In Melcroft, PA, four people were killed and another was wounded at a local car wash when a shooter armed with an assault weapon opened fire.

We honor with action: William Scott Porterfield, Chelsie Lou Cline, Seth William Cline, Courtney Sue Snyder

February 14, 2018

In Parkland, FL, a shooter opened fire with an assault weapon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killing 17 people, including 14 students and three staff, and injuring 17 others.

We honor with action: Alyssa Alhadeff, Scott Beigel, Martin Duque, Nick Dworet, Aaron Feis, Jaime Guttenberg, Christopher Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup, Peter Wang

The shooting galvanized young people, like Brady’s youth-led program Team ENOUGH, to take action against gun violence in America and led to a number of proposals by lawmakers; however, no legislation was passed.

April 22, 2018

In Nashville, TN, a gunman fatally shot four people and injured two others with an assault weapon when he opened fire at a Waffle House.

We honor with action: DeEbony Groves, Akilah DaSilva, Taurean C. Sanderlin, Joe R. Perez

Episode 210: The Legacy of Akilah Dasilva

Akilah DaSilva was only 23 when he was shot and killed during the April 22, 2018 Waffle House shooting in Nashville, Tennessee. Hosts Kelly and JJ are joined by Akilah's brother Abede and his mother Shaundelle Brooks to discuss the reality of life "after" a mass shooting and gun violence in Tennessee.

October 27, 2018

In Pittsburgh, PA, an antisemitic attack with an assault weapon resulted in the death of 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Another six people were wounded.

We honor with action: Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, Irving Younger
Left: Young people gather at the 2018 March For Our Lives in Washington D.C.; Right: Students from Parkland, FL join Brady in D.C. for the 2018 March For Our Lives

2019

August 3, 2019

In El Paso, TX, a shooter armed with an assault weapon opened fire at a Walmart killing 23 people and injuring 23 others. The shooting which targeted the Latin community was considered a hate crime.

We honor with action: Andre Anchondo, Jordan Anchondo, Arturo Benavides, Leonardo Campos, Maria Flores, Raul Flores, Jorge Calvillo García, Adolfo Cerros Hernández, Alexander Gerhard Hoffman, David Johnson, Luis Alfonzo Juarez, Maria Eugenia Legarreta Rothe, Elsa Mendoza Marquez, Maribel (Campos) Loya, Ivan Filiberto Manzano, Gloria Irma Márquez, Margie Reckard, Sara Esther Regalado Moriel, Javier Rodriguez, Terresa Sanchez, Angie Englisbee, and Juan Velazquez

In September, Walmart took steps to limit ammunition sales and discourage open carry of firearms in their stores.

August 4, 2019

In Dayton, OH, a gunman used an assault weapon and high-capacity magazine to shoot and kill nine people and wound 17 others at a bar in the city’s Oregon Historic District. The shooter fired 41 rounds in less than 30 seconds.

We honor with action: Megan Betts, Monica Brickhouse, Nicholas P. Cumer, Derrick R. Fudge, Thomas J. McNichols, Lois L. Oglesby, Saeed Saleh, Logan Turner, and Beatrice N. Warren-Curtis

Brady Legal represents five individuals who lost loved ones in the Dayton, OH mass shooting in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the manufacturer of the 100-round magazine used in the shooting.

August 31, 2019

In the west Texas cities of Midland and Odessa, a shooting spree by an individual armed with an assault weapon resulted in the death of seven people and wounded 25.

We honor with action: Edwin Peregrino, Raul Garcia, Joseph “Joe” Griffith, Mary Granados, Kameron Karltess Brown, Rodolfo Julio Arco, and Leilah Hernandez

After three mass shootings in one month, lawmakers in the House proposed a number of gun reforms; however, no votes ever took place.

December 10, 2019

In Jersey City, NJ, five people were killed at a kosher grocery store by two shooters armed with an assault weapon.

We honor with action: Joseph Seals, Mindy Ferentz, Moshe Deutsh, Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, and Michael Rumberger
Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was killed in the Parkland mass shooting, speaks at a 2019 press conference in support of a ban on high-capacity magazines

2020

March 15, 2020

In Springfield, MO, a shooter used an assault weapon to kill four people at a Kum & Go convenience store.

We honor with action: Christopher Walsh, Troy Rapp, Shannon Perkins, and Matthew Hicks-Morris

2021

March 22, 2021

In Boulder, CO, a shooter armed with an assault weapon and high-capacity magazine killed ten people in the parking lot of a King Soopers supermarket.

We honor with action: Tralona Bartkowiak, Suzzane Fountain, Teri Leiker, Kevin Mahoney, Lynn Murray, Rikki Olds, Neven Stanisic, Denny Stong, Eric Talley, and Jody Waters

Determined to make a difference, local advocates partnered with Brady to launch a new Colorado chapter in April 2021. With the help of Brady and local partners, that summer Colorado went on to pass three life-saving gun reform bills including a bill to close the Charleston Loophole, establish an office of gun violence prevention, and allow for local governments to enact ordinances to strengthen gun laws.

April 15, 2021

In Indianapolis, IN, a gunman used an assault weapon to kill eight people and injure seven others at a FedEx ground facility where he formerly worked.

We honor with action: Matthew R. Alexander, Samaria Blackwell, Amarjeet Kaur Johal, Amarjit Sekhon, Karli Smith, John Weisert, Jasvinder Kaur, and Jaswinder Singh

As of June 2022, 63% of registered US voters support banning assault weapons.

2022

On February 15, 2022 it was announced that Remington Arms Company agreed to a settlement with the families and estates of nine victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. Brady assisted the lawyers for the Sandy Hook families and this victory built on the precedent setting cases Brady has litigated over the past 30 years.

May 14, 2022

In Buffalo, NY, a white supremacist used an assault weapon to shoot and kill ten people, all of whom were Black, and injure three others.

We honor with action: Katherine Massey, Aaron Slater Jr., Pearly Young, Ruth Whitfield, Heyward Patterson, Celestine Chaney, Roberta Drury, Andre “Elliot” Mackneil, and Margus Morrison

May 24, 2022

In Uvalde, TX, a gunman fatally shot 21 people and injured 17 others with an assault weapon at Robb Elementary School. Majority of those killed were students between the ages of nine to eleven.

We honor with action: Makenna Lee Elrod, Layla Salazar, Maranda Mathis, Nevaeh Bravo, Jose Manuel Flores Jr., Xavier Lopez, Tess Marie, Mata, Rojelio Torres, Eliahna “Ellie” Amyah Garcia, Eliahna A. Torres, Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, Jackie Cazares, Uziyah Garcia, Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, Maite Yulena Rodriguez, Jailah Nicole Silguero, Irma Garcia, Eva Mireles, Amerie Jo Garza, Alexandria “Lexi” Aniyah Rubio, and Alithia Ramirez

The shooting at Robb Elementary School was the third deadliest school shooting in recent history and resulted in renewed momentum for gun violence prevention efforts in the U.S. On December 15, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Uvalde shooting and bipartisan solutions to gun violence.

June 1, 2022

In Tulsa, OK, a shooter armed with an assault weapon opened fire at Saint Francis Hospital killing four people and injuring a number of others.

We honor with action: Dr. Stephanie Husen, Dr. Preston Phillips, Amanda Dawn Glenn, and William Love

July 4, 2022

In Highland Park, IL, a shooter armed with an assault weapon opened fire at an Independence Day parade killing seven people and wounding 48 others.

We honor with action: Katherine Goldstein, Irina McCarthy, Kevin McCarthy, Jacquelyn Sundheim, Stephen Straus, Nicolas Toldeo-Zaragoza, and Eduardo Uvaldo.

On September 28, 2022, Brady filed suit on behalf of survivors of the Highland Park shooting against firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson for its role in the deadly July Fourth attack, alleging, among other claims, the unlawful marketing and advertising practices that encourage criminal behavior.

In the wake of the Highland Park shooting, President Biden called for a ban on assault weapons. Survivors and advocates have since been pushing the Senate to bring the Assault Weapon Ban to a vote.

July 17, 2022

In Greenwood, IN, a gunman armed with assault weapons and high-capacity magazines opened fire into the food court of Greenwood Park Mall. While the shooting only lasted a minute, three people were killed and two others were injured.

We honor with action: Pedro Pineda, Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, and Victor Gomez

On July 25, 2022, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — the first comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation signed into law in over 30 years. While the bill did not contain a ban on assault weapons, on July 29, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. It was the first time a ban on assault weapons passed out of the House since 1994, the year the original assault weapon ban was signed into law. The bill has not yet been brought to a vote in the Senate.

Left: Protestors join the March For Our Lives 2022 in Washington DC; Right: Brady President Kris Brown speaks at the March Fourth rally demanding a ban on assault weapons

Nov. 19, 2022

In Colorado Springs, CO, a shooter wearing body armor and armed with an assault weapon killed five people and wounded 25 others at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub.

We honor with action: Daniel Davis Aston, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, Derrick Rump, Raymond Green Vance

The shooting comes six years after the Pulse nightclub shooting and at a time where hate crimes towards LGBTQ+ Americans are rising. On December 14, the House Oversight Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on anti-LGBTQ+ violence and has invited survivors from the Club Q shooting as well as a survivor from the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting.

THE REALITY OF ASSAULT WEAPONS IN THE U.S.

Today, there are over 19.8 million AR-15-style rifles in circulation in the US, which is a 132.9% increase in the number of AR-15 rifles in circulation when the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004. The tragedies here show the very real and deadly consequences of the easy access to these uniquely lethal firearms.

URGE YOUR SENATORS TO BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS NOW!

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