Fact Check

Tim McGraw Is Playing an Anti-Gun Concert?

Rumor: Country singer Tim McGraw is playing a concert to benefit an 'anti-gun' group.

Published Apr 15, 2015

Claim:   Country singer Tim McGraw is playing a concert to benefit an 'anti-gun' group.


Example:   [Collected via internet, April 2015]


Origins:   On 13 April 2015, country singer Tim McGraw announced that he would be headlining a benefit concert for the group Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), an organization dedicated to the cause of "protecting children from gun violence":

Tim McGraw has announced that on July 17, 2015 at XFINITY Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, he will headline a Concert for Sandy Hook Promise. One-hundred percent of the net proceeds of this special event will benefit Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, with a mission of protecting children from gun violence.

"Out of this tragedy a group was formed that made a promise to honor the lives lost and turn it into a moment of transformation," said McGraw. "Sandy Hook Promise teaches that we can do something to protect our children from gun violence. I want to be a part of that promise as a father and as a friend."

This cause is close to Tims heart, as it is to the fiddle player in his touring band, Dean Brown, a longtime friend to Mark Barden, a musician and father of a child, who was killed in the 2012 tragedy. "I look forward to being a part of a night of hope and promise and music that will help continue the great work that Sandy Hook Promise is doing," said Brown.

"We are humbled that Tim would do this for us," said Barden. "Dean and his wife Cindy helped my wife and I through our darkest hour and helped buoy our spirits. It meant more than words could ever say."


Shortly after the press release was posted to McGraw's web site, some firearms-related blogs criticized the country singer for supporting an "anti-gun" group. Shotgun News, for instance, posted an article asking country music fans to delete McGraw from their playlists in light of the news:

You may have thought country music stars were uniformly pro-gun, but apparently you were mistaken. Tim McGraw, notable both in his own right and as husband of country queen Faith Hill, is doing a concert July 17 to benefit Sandy Hook Promise, a group formed by veteran anti-gunners after the Connecticut school massacre.

Now it could be that McGraw has made the same mistake Jay Leno made, and taken on a gig without investigating the political implications. If that's the case, then some noise from our side may warn him off. If hes doing it because he agrees with SHP, country fans reading this may want to edit their playlists.


While it's true that Tim McGraw has agreed to perform at a concert for Sandy Hook Promise, classifying that group as "anti-gun" may not be completely accurate. The organization's mission statement references protecting children from gun violence by supporting mental health and gun safety programs, not by advocating a ban on firearms in general (or any particular class of firearms):

Our Mission

1) Protect children from gun violence so no other parent experiences the loss of their child by engaging and empowering parents and communities with targeted prevention programs in the areas of mental wellness early-identification & intervention, social & emotional development and firearm safety & security.

2) Help our community through this tragedy by providing resources and programs that foster connection, resiliency and overall wellness.


Sandy Hook Promise does, however, support the consideration of what they deem to be "new laws where public safety and reduction in violence can be achieved without eroding 2nd Amendment rights," such as legislation that would require background checks for all gun sales, reduce the maximum capacity of ammunition magazines to ten bullets, and make firearms trafficking and straw purchases federal crimes:

We support the 2nd Amendment. We recognize an individual's right to bear arms and support millions of law-abiding citizens in the United States who own firearms. We believe with rights come responsibilities that we all bear to ensure the safety of individuals, communities and our nation. Current laws need to be enforced and need to have loopholes closed. Where applicable, new laws should be considered where public safety and reduction in violence can be achieved without eroding 2nd Amendment rights.

Below are current gun safety and responsibility policy changes SHP supports:

Background check should be required for every gun sale
Every individual, regardless of where or from whom they purchase a firearm, should undergo a background check to ensure that the purchaser is not a risk for perpetrating gun violence. The background check requirement for private sales should be enforceable, and States should ensure that the data they provide for the system is complete and up to date. 90% of Americans stated they support background checks; we believe Congress and state legislators should too.

Reduce capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 bullets or lower
Within four minutes, the shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary fired 154 bullets, killing 20 first grade children and six educators – our loved ones. The killer used magazines with a capacity of 30 bullets. We now know that he left less lethal, lower-capacity magazines at home. Reducing magazines to a capacity of 10 bullets or less can save innocent lives. Many of the children who escaped from one of the classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary reportedly did so when the shooter stopped to reload. We are left to wonder how many victims – maybe our children – also might have escaped if the killer had to reload more frequently.

Firearms trafficking and straw purchases should be federal crimes
Congress should support law enforcement's efforts to get guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals by making it a crime to buy a gun for another person and by stiffening penalties for those purchasing a gun to give to a person who is prohibited by law from having a gun. The cost of continuing our willful ignorance of these evasions of our gun laws is simply too high.


Last updated:   15 April 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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