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Two Years After the Mass Shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Renew Commitment to Honoring Victims and Survivors 


WASHINGTON — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots network Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, issued the following statements ahead of the two-year mark of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas where a former student at the school fatally shot and killed 19 students and two teachers, while shooting and wounding 17 others. Moments before the tragic shooting, the perpetrator shot and wounded their grandmother after an argument. 

“Today, as we remember the victims and survivors of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, we also recommit ourselves to creating a future where every school is free from the fear of gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The tragedy that unfolded two years ago in Uvalde was preventable, and we can and must do more to stop history from repeating itself.”

“We are holding the Uvalde community close to our hearts as they continue to heal from the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School two years ago,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “We refuse to accept a reality where such tragedies can happen. Our movement in Texas will not be deterred by extremist politicians or a reckless gun industry. We will keep fighting until safety in schools is a given, not a hope.”

“Two years ago, our world stood still when 19 children and two teachers were taken away from us in a senseless act of gun violence. It’s impossible to put into words the pain of this loss,” said Liz Hanks, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “But in the face of this unthinkable tragedy, we have refused to let lawmaker inaction deter our efforts. In fact, it has only emboldened our efforts to keep fighting and make it a reality that our kids and educators make it home safely from school. We will not stop until we end our gun violence crisis once and for all. ”  

“What should have been a normal school day at Robb Elementary ended in mass tragedy, leaving nothing but pain and trauma behind for the entire Uvalde community,” said Mireya Rodriguez, a gun violence survivor and volunteer leader with the University of Texas Dallas Students Demand Action chapter. “Our lives shouldn’t be the cost of an education. Our teachers shouldn’t have to die trying to protect us. Change needs to happen, and until it does, young people won’t stop fighting. We’ll continue to honor the 21 precious lives taken by fighting for a future that’s free from gun violence.” 

On May 17, 2022, a day after his 18th birthday, the Uvalde shooter legally purchased a semiautomatic rifle from a local gun dealer, before purchasing another rifle four days before the shooting. According to investigators, the shooter sent a message to an acquaintance showing the receipt for an AR-15 style rifle purchased from Georgia-based online retailer Daniel Defense eight days before the shooting. 

In the wake of this tragic mass shooting two years ago, as well as the one in Buffalo, New York, on May 14, the United States Senate began negotiations that resulted in President Joe Biden signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), a historic gun safety, mental health, and school safety law — the first major federal gun safety law to pass Congress in nearly 30 years. BSCA established an enhanced background check process for gun buyers under age 21, provides federal funding to implement state Red Flag laws, helps disarm domestic abusers by addressing the dating partner loophole, and funds community violence intervention programs, among other items. In addition, last month, the Biden-Harris Administration finalized a new rule to implement BSCA that will require more unlicensed gun sellers, including those who sell guns online and at gun shows, to become licensed firearms dealers and, in turn, run background checks.

While the logjam on federal action was broken with BSCA and the work to implement it continues, the country has sadly been reminded that there is much more yet to do. There have been more than 150 mass shootings so far this year in addition to the pervasive, daily acts of gun violence that never make headlines. 

Everytown Law has the honor of representing the families of Eliahna Torres, Mayah Zamora, and Khloie Torres. All three of them went to school eager to participate in the end-of-year awards day on May 24, 2022. That day, Eliahna, Mayah, Khloie and their classmates spent 77 minutes trapped in their classrooms with a mass-murderer wielding a Daniel Defense AR-15-style rifle. Eliahna Torres did not come home. Mayah Zamora survived several gunshot wounds, and subsequently more than 60 surgeries, which continue to impact her to this day. And Khloie Torres pretended to be dead, laying still among the wounded while bravely calling 911 from inside the classroom. None of their lives, or the lives of their families, have been the same since.

In 2022, Everytown Law, along with the law firms Romanucci & Blandin, Texas law firm LM Law Group PLLC, and Emery Celli Abady Brinckerhoff Ward & Maazel LLP, have filed two federal lawsuits on behalf of Sandra Torres, the mother of Eliahna Torres, and the families of Mayah Zamora and Khloie Torres. Everytown seeks to hold the gunmaker, the gun store, and law enforcement officers and agencies accountable for their actions that led to this unfathomable tragedy. Those cases are continuing and awaiting decisions on pending motions.

The lawsuits allege that Daniel Defense’s marketing of the murder weapon was unfair, irresponsible, and illegal, as it specifically courted young, troubled, and violent young men and encouraged them to use their weapons the way U.S. armed forces members are sometimes called to: to engage in offensive combat missions directed at other humans. 

The lawsuits further allege that the gun store Oasis Outback negligently and illegally sold the murder weapon to the shooter, a person not fit to purchase firearms. Finally, Everytown has sued law enforcement officers and agencies who, in a dereliction of their sworn duty, unconscionably stood outside the classroom for 77 minutes while the shooter terrorized and murdered children and teachers inside. The suits are ongoing, case documents can be found here. Of note, on May 22, 2024, Sandra Torres joined a $2 million settlement with the City.

From 2015 to 2022, mass shootings with four or more people killed where an assault weapon was used resulted in nearly six times as many people shot, more than twice as many people killed, and 23 times as many people wounded on average compared to those that did not involve the use of one. Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers will continue working with lawmakers across the state in favor of banning these weapons ahead of the next legislative session. More information about the role of assault weapons in the gun violence crisis is available here

The majority of the victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary School were of Latinx descent. Each year, nearly 5,000 Latinx people die from gun violence in the United States—an average of 14 deaths every day—and 13,300 are shot and wounded.  Nearly two-thirds of all gun deaths among Latinx people in the United States are homicides, and Latinx people are more than two times more likely to die by gun homicide and four times as likely to be wounded by an assault with a gun as white people. More information about gun violence in Latinx communities is available here.  

In an average year, 4,122 people die by guns in Texas. With a rate of 14.0 deaths per 100,000 people, Texas has the 27th-highest rate of gun deaths in the US. The rate of gun deaths has increased 44% from 2013 to 2022 in Texas, compared to a 36% increase nationwide.  Gun violence costs Texas $51.3 billion each year, of which $1.1 billion is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Texas is available here.