May 20, 2020

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 5 - this June would’ve marked Hadiya Pendleton’s 23rd birthday


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today introduced a resolution in the Senate establishing June 5, 2020, as “National Gun Violence Awareness Day” and designating June as “National Gun Violence Awareness Month.” U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) will introduce a companion resolution in the House. 

Every day in America, an average of around 300 men, women, and children are shot, nearly one-third of them fatally.  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 23rd 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, which is unfortunately still increasing during this pandemic,” said Duckworth.  “I encourage Illinoisans and Americans across the country to wear orange on National Gun Violence Awareness Day 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.”

“There have been too many families and communities devastated by gun violence across America, and the violence has continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In order to recognize the importance of putting aside political differences and coming together to focus on ways we can keep Americans safe, I’m proud to lead my Senate colleagues once again in introducing this resolution.  May we remember Hadiya Pendleton and the tens of thousands of people who are killed by gunfire each year by wearing orange on ‘National Gun Violence Awareness Day,’” said Durbin. 

“As we prepare to celebrate another of Hadiya Pendleton’s birthdays without her, communities across Chicagoland and the country continue crying out for commonsense, gun safety laws that protect people and public safety,” said Kelly.  “Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, gun violence continues to claim bright, young lives like Hadiya’s. The time for action is now! American people want and deserve lifesaving, common sense gun safety laws.  Last year, the House took the first step by passing the bipartisan universal background check legislation (H.R. 8) and legislation to close the Charleston loophole (H.R. 1112).  It’s time for the Senate to do their job.”

Along with Durbin and Duckworth, U.S. Senators cosponsoring the resolution include: U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chris Coons (D-DE),  Patty Murray (D-WA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bob Casey (D-PA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

Gun violence is an issue that affects communities in every state across the country.  Each year, more than 37,500 people in America are killed and 73,300 are injured by gunfire. 

A copy of today’s resolution is available here.