NEW YORK –– Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements applauding the House passage of H.R. 3094, legislation to establish the National Pulse Memorial. The bill was introduced by Reps. Darren Soto (FL-09), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), and Val Demings (FL-10).
June 12 marked four years since the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub left 49 people dead and 53 wounded. The victims and survivors of this shooting were predominantly Latino LGBTQ people. At the time, it was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. It remains the largest attack against the LGBTQ community to date. The bill now awaits a Senate vote.
“The Pulse mass shooting is a constant and tragic reminder of the hate-fueled gun violence that continues to impact the LGBTQ community,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “This national memorial will remind us of the need to take immediate action on federal gun safety legislation.”
“We must continue to honor and remember the victims and survivors of the tragic shooting at Pulse Nightclub four years ago,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “I applaud Reps. Soto, Murphy and Demings for prioritizing and championing this important legislation to create a National Pulse Memorial.”
“This memorial makes a place that brought such horror and destruction into a national memorial for reflection and healing,” said Sara Grossman, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network whose friend, Drew Leinonen, was killed in the Orlando Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in 2016. “This bill is significant for those of us who lost a loved one at Pulse. The friends we lost that night deserve a prominent place in the history books, and future generations deserve to learn from them, too.”
Recently, Everytown for Gun Safety, the Human Rights Campaign, Giffords and Equality Florida released a report entitled “Remembering and Honoring Pulse: Anti-LGBTQ Bias and Guns are Taking Lives of Countless LGBTQ People,” which noted over 10,000 hate crimes in the U.S. involve a firearm each year, which equates to more than 28 each day. This analysis marks the most substantive synthesis of data related to the impact of gun violence on the LGBTQ community to date.
The report also emphasized a marked increase in reported anti-LGBTQ hate crimes, especially against transgender people. Since 2013, three-fourths of homicides against transgender people have involved a gun, and eight in ten homicides of Black trans women are by a gun. Further, advocates saw a 43% increase in the formation of anti-LGBTQ hate groups in 2019. In addition to detailed statistics regarding the frequency and use of firearms in hate crimes, the report highlights data on the impact of firearms in three key areas: homicide, suicide and intimate partner violence.