May 27, 2021

Duckworth, Durbin, Kelly Introduce Resolution Establishing “National Gun Violence Awareness Day”

To bring attention to the issue of gun violence, Americans are encouraged to wear orange on June 4 - this June would’ve marked Hadiya Pendleton’s 24th birthday


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced a resolution in the Senate establishing June 4, 2021, as “National Gun Violence Awareness Day” and designating June as “National Gun Violence Awareness Month.” U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) has introduced a companion resolution in the House. 

Last year was one of the deadliest years on record for the United States, with an estimated 19,300 individuals killed in gun homicides or non-suicide-related shootings, a 25 percent increase over 2019.  Designating a day 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 24th 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.

“Far too many of our friends and loved ones have had their lives tragically cut short by senseless gun violence,” said Duckworth. “During this upcoming Gun Violence Awareness Month, we must not only honor the victims of gun violence like Hadiya, but reaffirm our commitment to taking action that will protect our children and help keep our communities safe.”

“I’m proud to lead my Senate colleagues once again in introducing this resolution.  May we always remember Hadiya Pendleton and the tens of thousands of people who are victims of gun violence each year by wearing orange on ‘National Gun Violence Awareness Day,’” said Durbin. “Around forty thousand Americans each year lose their lives to the gun violence epidemic. Just today, at least eight more people lost their lives in another mass shooting in San Jose. As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I am determined to work to reduce gun violence in America and keep firearms out of the hands of people who should not have them.”

“In June, we mark Gun Violence Awareness Month and wear orange in honor of the tens of thousands of Americans who die from gun violence each year,” said Kelly, Vice Chair of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. “Our gun violence epidemic is a public health emergency; it is a national tragedy and a national embarrassment. I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress to advance gun violence prevention legislation and programs to save lives and put an end to the senseless, day-to-day violence in our communities. I encourage everyone to wear orange on June 4th to honor Hadiya Pendleton and every other victim of gun violence.”

Along with Duckworth and Durbin, U.S. Senators cosponsoring the resolution include: U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT),  Ed Markey (D-MA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).

Gun violence is an issue that affects communities in every state across the country.  Each year, more than 38,500 individuals are killed and 85,000 individuals are wounded by gunfire. 

A copy of today’s resolution is available here.