Contact: David Galin
ALBANY, NY – The City of Albany is joining cities across the nation to recognize June 3 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day and June 3-5 as National Wear Orange Weekend, initiatives that were put in place to bring awareness and change to what has become the epidemic of gun violence. Earlier this week, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan joined mayors, advocates, and faith leaders across the State to coordinate efforts for Gun Violence Awareness Month NY.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “I join so many fellow elected officials and faith leaders along with countless advocates and Americans in calling for common sense gun reform on the Federal level that includes mandatory background checks, a ban on assault weapons, and enhancing red flag laws in order to prevent senseless acts of violence such as the recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde. It is imperative that we work together to pass these common sense gun laws.
Gun violence impacts every one of our communities, notwithstanding the fact that a record number of illegal guns were taken off the street by the Albany Police Department last year and we are nearly doubling that pace this year as they continue to plague our community. It is clear Congress must address the proliferation of illegal guns and illegally altered guns that continue to flood our cities.”
Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said, “Gun violence has had a devastating impact on our communities. We will continue to work collaboratively with our elected officials, residents and other stakeholders to remove illegal guns from our streets, identify individuals responsible and ensure that they are brought to justice. I’m proud of the men and women at the APD and all those from the Albany community who remain committed to addressing this issue and enhancing public safety."
New York was the first state to memorialize the entire month of June as Gun Violence Awareness Month, and has led the nation with respect to gun violence awareness. Through partnerships with advocates, violence interrupters and elected officials, Gun Violence Awareness Month will amplify marches, rallies, roundtable discussions, and more to highlight the urgent message that communities must take swift action to curb gun violence.
The statewide effort will include community conversations, symbolic lighting of landmarks, monuments, and buildings across New York State to echo the urgency that communities must take swift action to curb gun violence. More information about events and announcements can be found at gunviolenceawarenessmonthny.com.
Hadiya Pendleton was a teenager who marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade and was tragically shot and killed just weeks later. To help honor Hadiya, the other American lives that have been cut short and the countless survivors who are injured by shootings every day – a national coalition of organizations designated the first National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend. The idea of wearing orange was inspired by the concept of hunters wearing orange to announce themselves to other hunters when out in the woods and orange is a color that symbolizes the value of human life. The Albany Skyway will be lit orange to join this national recognition.
Anyone can join this campaign by pledging to wear orange on Gun Violence Awareness Day and throughout the month of June. By wearing orange, we raise awareness about gun violence and honor the lives stolen by gun violence.