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National PTA President Testifies Before House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in Support of Universal Background Checks

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Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 18, 2019)—National PTA President Leslie Boggs testified today on behalf of children and families before the U.S. House of Representatives Gun Violence Prevention Task Force at a forum titled, Impact of Gun Violence on Children and the Need for a Senate Vote on Universal Background Checks.  

“Thousands of children across the country have been victims of or witnesses to gun violence in their schools, homes and communities. Alongside their ABCs, kindergarteners are singing songs to remind them to run and hide during active shootings,” Boggs said in her testimony. “For years, we have called for action and have said ‘enough is enough.’ Yet, too often, we have been met by ‘thoughts and prayers’ from our elected leaders. Our children and families deserve more than thoughts and prayers. Continuing to do nothing is unacceptable.”

“Conversations about school safety, gun safety and violence prevention cannot be just about video games, violent programming and mental health. Our nation’s leaders must acknowledge and address the ease of access to firearms and weapons of war,” continued Boggs. “Background checks can and will save lives. This common-sense gun measure would have saved lives and prevented injuries in my hometown of Odessa, Texas.”

For nearly 30 years, National PTA has advocated for common-sense and comprehensive gun safety and violence prevention measures while preserving the lawful use of firearms for sport and personal protection. In addition to universal background checks, National PTA has called for the passage of red flag laws that temporarily limit access to firearms for those who may endanger public safety, funding for gun violence research efforts and banning of assault weapons.

“The question I am asking today is do our elected officials, including our president, value our nation’s children and families enough to put a law in place that protects them the best it can, or will they continue to do nothing? We demand that Congress and the president act in the best interest of this nation,” Boggs concluded.

To read Boggs’ testimony, visit and to watch a recording of the forum, visit In addition to Boggs’ testimony, National PTA sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging him to bring the Background Check Expansion bill to the floor and facilitate its passage in the Senate.

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit