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Two Years After the Mass Shooting at Buffalo Tops Friendly Market, Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Statements


BUFFALO, NY – Today, one day ahead of the two-year mark of the racially-motivated mass shooting at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York, in which 10 people were shot and killed, three others were wounded, and many others were injured and traumatized, Everytown and the New York chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements. All 10 of those killed were Black, with the gunman specifically targeting a predominantly Black community in an act of white supremacist, hate-motivated violence. 

“Two years later, the mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market remains a searing reminder that hatred is deadly when it comes armed with a gun,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Lawmakers across the country must do more to stop the spread of assault weapons and gun accessories that have no place on our streets, which would be a fitting legacy for the victims and survivors of the Buffalo tragedy.”

“As communities still grieve the 10 people that should still be with us today two years later, we continue to confront the undeniable role white supremacy plays in fueling our country’s gun violence crisis,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “While we tirelessly push for common-sense laws to disarm hate and prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, we must simultaneously dismantle systems that breed hatred and racism. Each one of us deserves a future where every life is valued, and every community thrives in safety.”

“This is a reminder of how the uniquely-American crisis of gun violence is especially deadly when combined with hate. Because of one white supremacist armed with an assault weapon, 10 Black people were shot and killed and countless lives changed forever after one Saturday two years ago – and our hearts continue to grieve with them,” said Pamela Hight, a volunteer with the New York chapter of Moms Demand Action and Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network. “I know firsthand that the pain of gun violence never goes away. But I also know that we must continue fighting so that we can live our lives without the fear of being targeted by hateful extremists with easy access to guns.” 

“Going to the grocery store shouldn’t be a death sentence. We must remember this tragedy for what it was: a hateful act of white supremacy fueled by America’s gun violence crisis,” said Christian Matthew, a volunteer with Students Demand Action from New York and a Student Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network. “10 people should be alive today, and while nothing can take away that pain, we know there are ways to prevent future tragedies like this from happening. As a nation of survivors, we’ll continue to honor the lives taken at Tops Friendly Market with our advocacy.” 

In the wake of this tragic mass shooting two years ago, as well as the one in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 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. 

Analysis of the shooter’s writings indicate that he became immersed in social media and radicalized online, including by focusing on firearms. When this interest fused with the racist beliefs he was exposed to online, he decided to carry out the attack, underscoring the deadly results of the mix of violent extremism and the easy access to firearms unique to the United States. Reports indicate that hate crimes reported to police are on the rise. In an average year, more than 25,000 hate crimes in the United States involve a firearm — 69 a day. Instances of racially-motivated gun violence can have a devastating impact on individual victims, and entire groups and communities experience the reverberating effects. More information on hate crimes can be found here.

Last year, Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety, with civil rights lawyers from the firms Bonner & Bonner and Ryder Law, filed two lawsuits on behalf of 25 survivors of the racially motivated mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo. This year, a judge in the Erie County Supreme Court allowed the case to move forward against all of the defendants, including the manufacturer of an easy-to-remove lock that facilitated the shooter’s acquisition of the illegal assault weapon used in the deadly massacre, the gun store that sold the shooter the weapon, and the internet and social media defendants that facilitated the shooter’s addiction to social media, radicalization as a white supremacist, and access to military-style body armor and weaponry.

In an average year, 960 people die by guns in New York, and another 2,841 people are wounded. Gun violence costs New York $11.4 billion each year, of which $301.2 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in New York can be found here