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Gun Violence Wreaks Havoc on July Fourth Weekend; Underscores Urgent Need for Action on Gun Safety


Over July Fourth Weekend, Gun Violence Erupted in Nearly Every State Across the County; At Least 90 People Were Shot in Chicago Alone 

Gun Violence Over the Holiday Weekend Affected Nearly Every State in the Country With Over 500 Shootings, Resulting in At Least 180 Deaths and over 525 Gun Violence Injuries

NEW YORK – As families and communities across the country celebrated Independence Day, gun violence once again interrupted holiday weekend festivities. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were more than 500 shootings over the holiday weekend in which a total of at least 180 people were shot and killed – and these are just the ones covered in the media. Every day in the United States, more than 120 people are shot and killed, and more than 200 are shot and wounded. And this weekend, gun violence erupted in nearly every state across the country — with at least 90 people shot in Chicago alone. 

 “While holidays like July 4 are supposed to be times of joy and celebration, in this country more often than not, they are also times of heightened gun violence. And this weekend was no exception,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “Whether it’s a parade or a small family gathering, or simply going about our daily lives, we all deserve to live free from the fear of gun violence. To be truly free, we need the freedom to exist without the fear of getting shot and the peace of mind that our children can play, learn, and grow in a world where their safety isn’t compromised by the gun lobby’s “guns everywhere” agenda.” 

“These tragedies are flat out unacceptable and everyone should be outraged that such senseless violence continues to shatter our communities,” said Erin DeSantis, a member of the Students Demand Action National Organizing Board. “Headline after headline detailed children, teenagers, and young people just like me being gunned down this weekend. How many more of us have to die before America realizes its collective responsibility to address this crisis? If we’re being shot and killed while celebrating freedom, we’re not really free. We’re merely celebrating the idea of it.”

Gunfire over the weekend devastated communities across the country. Here is a snapshot of the violence:

  • Over the holiday weekend, more than 90 people were shot in Chicago, including at least 17 fatally. This includes the fatal shootings of two mothers and one eight-year-old child, and the critical injury of a five-year-old and seven-year-old Thursday morning. 
  • Across the country, children were the victims of countless acts of gun violence:
    • A six-year old was shot at a neighborhood Fourth of July party in Temple Hills, Maryland on Saturday night and later died of his injuries. 
    • In Cleveland, Ohio, a 10-year-old girl, Gracie Griffin, was shot and killed on July 4 in a shooting that the police have yet to confirm was targeted. 
    • On Sunday, a 12 and 13-year-old boy were both shot and injured in a targeted shooting at a McDonalds in the Bronx, New York
    • Six teenagers were shot and wounded at a mass shooting at a Fourth of July party early Friday morning, in Albany, New York
    • A 16-year-old was shot and killed in Savannah, Georgia on Saturday night during a home invasion. 
    • In Aurora, Colorado, a 14-year-old girl was shot and killed and two other teenage girls were shot and injured during a shooting at a party Saturday.
  • Celebrations also turned deadly:
    • A block party in Detroit, Michigan on Sunday morning left two people shot and killed and another 19 injured. 
    • One person was left dead and another five were shot and injured when gunfire erupted at a Fourth of July fireworks gathering in St. Louis, Missouri
    • Four minors were shot and five additional adults were shot, one deadly, during a ‘pop-up’ July Fourth event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Thursday.

Gunfire at celebratory events has sadly become commonplace in America. Moments of celebration continue to fall victim to gun violence across the country:

  • Over Father’s Day weekend, alarming rates of gun violence in the nation resulted in nearly 200 shootings nationally. 
  • Over Memorial Day weekend, there were nearly 300 shootings nationally. 
  • Over Easter weekend, there were at least 248 shootings across the country. Earlier this year, communities across the nation were shocked when gunfire erupted at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Championship parade in Kansas City, resulting in at least one person being shot and killed and an additional 22 victims who were shot and wounded. At least half of the shooting victims were under 16. 

July Fourth itself accounted for more mass shootings in the United States than any other single calendar day over roughly a decade, a 2023 CNN analysis of the Gun Violence Archive’s mass shooting data since 2014 found. The day with the second most shootings was the day after – July Fifth. Heat, experts say, can elevate discomfort and aggression – potential catalysts for violence at a time kids are out of school and warmer weather drives more people outdoors in a country with more guns than people.

Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens. Every year, more than 4,000 children and teens are shot and killed and 17,000 more are shot and wounded, and an estimated three million children in the U.S. are exposed to shootings per year. Witnessing shootings—whether in their schools, their communities, or their homes–can have a devastating impact. Children exposed to violence, crime, and abuse are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol; suffer from depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder; fail or have difficulties in school; and engage in criminal activity. The impacts of this crisis are shaping an entire generation of Americans. 

During the 2024 state legislative sessions, some state lawmakers heeded the call for action to prevent gun violence and passed common-sense gun safety measures, while others doubled down on the gun lobby’s “guns-everywhere” agenda and weakened public safety laws, passing dangerous gun bills that have been shown to lead to more gun deaths. More information is available here. More information about state-level legislation during the 2024 session is available here.
Summertime can be a particularly dangerous time for communities as gun violence often spikes in the warm months. An Everytown fact sheet, “Community-Led Public Safety Strategies,” details the role of community violence intervention programs (CVI) in reducing gun violence. Everytown Community Safety Fund invests millions in community-based violence intervention organizations working in cities across the country and is the largest national initiative solely dedicated to fueling the life-saving work of community-based violence intervention organizations in cities nationwide.