Durbin, Duckworth, Kelly Introduce Resolution Establishing "National Gun Violence Awareness Month"

To bring attention to the issue of gun violence, Americans are encouraged to wear orange the weekend of June 7-9 – this June would’ve marked Hadiya Pendleton’s 22nd birthday

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) introduced a resolution in the House and Senate establishing the weekend of June 7-9, 2019, as “National Gun Violence Awareness Weekend” and designating June as “National Gun Violence Awareness Month.”  Every day in America, an average of around 300 men, women, and children are shot, nearly one-third of them fatally.  Establishing a month to bring attention to the issue of gun violence honors the thousands of Americans who are victims of gun violence every year, including Hadiya Pendleton who was shot and killed in Chicago, Illinois, on January 29, 2013.  Hadiya would have celebrated her 22nd birthday this June.  The resolution also urges citizens and community leaders to concentrate heightened attention on gun violence during the month of June, when gun violence typically spikes at the start of the summer months, and to work together to make our communities safer. 

“In honor of Hadiya Pendleton and the tens of thousands of people who are killed by gunfire each year, I will be proud to wear orange on ‘National Gun Violence Awareness Weekend,’” said Durbin.  “There have been too many funerals, too many families and communities devastated by gun violence.  During ‘Gun Violence Awareness Month,’ I urge Americans of all backgrounds and political views to come together and focus on ways to keep Americans safe from this gun violence epidemic.”

“Far too many of our citizens and loved ones have had their lives tragically cut short by senseless gun violence,” said Duckworth.  “I encourage Illinoisans and Americans across the country to wear orange during National Gun Violence Awareness Weekend to honor Hadiya and every other victim of gun violence.  Gun Violence Awareness Month is a time to reaffirm our commitment to taking action that will protect our children and keep our communities safe from gun violence.”

“As we prepare to celebrate what should have been Hadiya Pendleton’s 22nd birthday, communities across Chicagoland and the country are crying out for commonsense, gun safety laws that protect people and public safety,” said Kelly.  “In poll after poll, the American people have shown their strong and unwavering support for lifesaving, common sense safety laws.  Earlier this year, the House took a first step by passing the bipartisan universal background check bill (H.R. 8) and legislation to close the Charleston loophole (H.R. 1112).  The time for real action is now, before more lives are needlessly lost.”

Along with Durbin and Duckworth, U.S. Senators cosponsoring the resolution include: U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

Along with Kelly, U.S. Representatives cosponsoring the resolution include: Lucy McBath (D-GA-06), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL-26), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Stacey Plaskett (D-VI-At-large), Lacy Clay (D-MO-01), and Danny Davis (D-IL-07).

Gun violence is an issue that affects communities in every state across the country.  Each year, more than 36,000 people in America are killed and 100,000 are injured by gunfire.