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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: May 2, 2022 01:01 PM
From: Senator Art Haywood
To: All Senate members
Subject: Gun Violence Awareness Month - June 2022
In the near future, I will introduce a resolution recognizing June 2022 as “Gun Violence Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.
Americans are twenty-five times more likely to die as a result of gun violence than citizens from all other industrialized nations. With a fatality rate of 91%, using a gun to commit suicide accounts for 60% of all gun violence deaths. The Center for American Progress found that  victims of domestic violence are at greater risk of serious injury when guns are readily accessible to their abusers; 59% of domestic violence homicides are caused by a gun.
Statewide, the facts are clear – gun violence inflicts harm and heartbreak in both rural and urban communities. Pennsylvania loses 1,544 individuals on average to gun violence, and more than 3,000 are injured. Making matters worse, gun violence increased in the Commonwealth by almost 40% during the pandemic. Research suggests this was due to the increased stress caused by COVID-19 and increased access to firearms. March 2020 was Philadelphia’s sharpest increase in gun violence in five years. Wayne and Fulton Counties also struggled with an increase in gun violence, enduring the second- and third-highest levels of gun violence per capita.
Gun violence is real, and we must do better to facilitate discussions between citizens and community leaders on how to make our neighborhoods safer for our children and all our citizens. With every passing day, our Commonwealth continues to suffer unrelenting grief and trauma as gun violence senselessly claims the lives and livelihoods of our neighbors, friends and family members. Increased awareness of this epidemic will allow us to start a constructive conversation on addressing it, prevent needless harm and injury, and make Pennsylvania a safer, more prosperous land for everyone. This June, I ask us all to shine a light on gun violence as a major public safety and public health issue in our communities.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this resolution.

Introduced as SR304