Fourth of July Weekend Marred by Gun Violence.
This holiday weekend marked yet another deadly weekend in the U.S. as gun violence killed and wounded hundreds of people across the country. On Monday, a shooting during a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois left at least six people shot and killed and at least 26 others wounded. Two police officers were shot and wounded at a Fourth of July parade in Philadelphia. In Minneapolis, eight people were shot and wounded during a Fourth of July celebration on Monday night. In Indiana, 10 people were shot – three fatally – at the Region Independence Day Block Party. And in New York, 21 people were shot – three fatally – during the holiday. These incidents are, unfortunately, only a snapshot of the gun violence from over the weekend with at least 432 shooting incidents across the country that resulted in at least 167 people killed and 461 people wounded between July 2-4.
As gun violence devastates communities every day and our nation continues to face a barrage of headlines about mass shootings, daily gun violence, gun suicide, domestic violence, and police shootings, lawmakers at all level of government are working to pass laws that will help curb the kind of gun violence facing their communities and save lives.
Following a number of fatal shootings across the country, including in Buffalo and Uvalde, Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. This happened after the Supreme Court’s dangerous ruling on the Bruen case, which weakened gun permitting processes in several states across the country. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law — making it the first major federal action on gun safety in over a quarter century.
Several states have also passed important policies to help curb gun violence:
- In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a measure strengthening New York’s concealed carry permitting process last week following the Supreme Court’s decision in the Bruen case, which struck down a portion of New York’s century-old law requiring individuals to demonstrate a particular need in order to acquire a concealed carry permit, and last month, signed an innovative gun safety package in response to the shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde.
- In Delaware, Governor John Carney signed a package of critical gun safety bills including legislation to generally raise the minimum age requirement to purchase or possess a firearm from 18 to 21, prohibit machine gun converter devices, and hold the gun industry accountable for their role in the gun violence crisis that continues to impact communities across the state.
- In Rhode Island, Governor Daniel McKee signed three important gun safety bills that would prohibit high capacity magazines, prohibit the open carry of rifles and shotguns in public, and raise the minimum age to purchase rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21.
- In California, Governor Newsom signed two gun safety bills further regulating ghost guns and prohibiting the marketing of firearms to minors. He will soon sign three more gun safety bills.
- In New Jersey today, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the 3.0 gun safety bill package, a sweeping package of gun safety measures promoting industry accountability, closing loopholes for importing out-of-state firearms, and strengthening the state’s firearm permitting laws, among other reforms.
Federal, state and local leaders have a vital role to play in combating gun violence – they should pass common sense gun safety legislation, support local violence intervention groups, and reject efforts to weaken state gun laws. As a whole, gun violence takes a disproportionate toll on Black and Latinx communities. The Everytown Community Safety Fund supports community-based violence intervention programs working to reduce gun violence within the hardest hit communities in cities nationwide. To learn more, visit the Everytown Community Safety Fund site.