Bennet Introduces Bill to Gather Data on School Shootings to Inform Policies to End Gun Violence

Legislation Will Help Lawmakers Understand the Full Scope of Gun Violence In and Around Schools to Help Protect Students & Educators

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet introduced the School Shooting Safety and Preparedness Act to help lawmakers gain a complete and accurate picture of gun violence in and around school campuses. This legislation will also provide actionable data to build effective strategies to prevent these tragedies. U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

“Colorado is no stranger to the tragedy of mass shootings at our schools,” said Bennet. “Our kids are living in the shadow of gun violence every day, and they are counting on us to take action. This bill would provide the data necessary to help us understand the full scale of this crisis and inform the action we desperately need to end gun violence in and around our schools. I’ll also continue to work with my colleagues to pass legislation to require universal background checks, limit the size of magazines, and address our country’s mental health crisis.”

This legislation would create a definition for “school shooting,” which does not exist in federal law. Currently, policy makers rely on media reports of “school shootings,” which can vary. With a standard definition, lawmakers would have a consistent way to measure incidents, trends, and the impact of policies and strategies implemented in response to school shootings.

In addition, this bill would direct the Department of Education to consult with the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to produce comprehensive annual reports on school safety indicators, such as shooting and fatality statistics, shooter and victim demographics, shooter motivations, and the types of firearms and ammunition acquired and used. It would also track prevention efforts, such as building designs, and communication and response plans. 

The bill text is available HERE. A one-page summary of the bill is available HERE.