Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy was formed after the massacre of 26 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December 14, 2012. Most of us had been concerned about the problem of easy access to guns and gun violence for many years, and Sandy Hook was what finally propelled us into action. Others of us had been quietly plugging away for a long time, trying to make a difference in an uphill battle with few allies. We all recognized that something shifted after Newtown, and that change might finally be possible—if we united.
Our initial effort, called PA-7 United for Sensible Gun Laws, was focused on communicating our urgent support for a package of federal reforms to U.S. Congressional Representative Patrick Meehan. These measures included making gun trafficking a federal crime, enacting universal background checks for all gun sales, banning high capacity ammunition magazines, and banning military-style assault weapons. We organized different constituent groups to meet with Representative Meehan’s staff, including educators, mental health professionals, health care professionals, and attorneys. When the Senate failed to pass the legislation and it was not introduced in the House, we evaluated our strategy and decided to form a permanent organization based in Delaware County, PA. The organization was officially formed on June 3, 2013.