The Missouri chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to the shooting of a Missouri transgender woman, who was shot and wounded in Kansas City, Missouri on June 1st.
“Communities across Missouri continue to be traumatized by gun violence, and the trans community disproportionately bears that burden,” said Zachary Mallory, fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network and a volunteer with the Kansas City chapter of Moms Demand Action. “As long as extremist lawmakers in Missouri continue to put the gun lobby first and weaken our gun laws, transgender women, particularly Black trans women, will be on the frontlines of our country’s epidemic of hate-fueled gun violence. We demand our lawmakers across all levels pass legislation that will protect them.”
This incident wasn’t isolated — there have been multiple fatal shootings of transgender or gender non-conforming people already in 2023 in the United States and Puerto Rico, and it’s likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered. This tragic trend isn’t happening in a vacuum. It comes as some states across the country have been advancing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation while simultaneously dismantling their gun safety laws. In Missouri, this legislation includes bills that would deny gender-affirming care to transgender youth, prohibit transgender school children from using school facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity, and that would ban drag shows and other performances done by transgender individuals. Missouri also has some of the weakest gun laws in the country lacking foundational gun safety measures such as background checks for all firearm sales and concealed firearm carry permitting. This deadly intersection creates a culture in which acts of gun violence towards trangender and gender non-conforming individuals become commonplace.
2021 was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S, and Black transgender women were disproportionately impacted by the violence. Below are trends from 2017 to 2022 that researchers fear will continue in 2023:
- Between 2017 and 2022, there were 222 homicides of transgender or gender non-conforming people.
- Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. Nearly three-fourths of trans people killed in America were killed with a gun. This violence is not evenly spread throughout the US.
- From 2017 to 2022, the majority of gun homicides of transgender and gender nonconforming people (67%) were of Black trans Women.
Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has tracked homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the U.S. since 2017. In addition to breaking down gun violence to the state- and county-level, the platform includes a database of known trans or gender nonconforming homicide victims in the United States.
As we commemorate Pride month this June, it is important to recognize that pride and what it has become, started as a protest. In 1969, the Stonewall riots in New York City served as a pivotal moment for the modern LGBTQ+ movement. The gun violence prevention movement is fueled by those ready to stand up to lawmakers elected to protect their constituents and say enough is enough. Mass shootings haunt our nation’s collective conscience – we do not deserve to live like this and cannot accept that this is the best it gets.