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Akron Mass Shooting Highlights Need For Investment and Prioritization of Gun Violence Prevention in Ohio

June 3, 2024

AKRON, OH — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots network, Moms Demand Action, released the following statement in response to the fatal mass shooting on early Sunday, which resulted in one person shot and killed and 24 others wounded. According to police reporting, gunfire erupted at a birthday party with over 200 people Saturday night. The shots seemed to be from a drive-by shooting.

“Once again, we are seeing celebrations turn deadly. Gun violence is impacting our communities everywhere – from our schools to our movie theaters, parades, and now, not even birthday parties feel safe,” said Joyce Penfield, a volunteer with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action.“This is the reality created by Ohio lawmakers who continue to put the gun lobby above the lives of their constituents. Our lawmakers must take decisive, common-sense action to protect our children and communities.”

Gunfire at celebratory events has sadly become commonplace in America. This year alone gun violence has put the end to graduation celebrations, parades, religious celebrations, parties and more. This phenomenon is a result of the extremist, shoot-first culture created by the gun lobby’s “guns everywhere” agenda. Common-sense gun safety laws like secure firearm storage, keeping guns out of sensitive places, and keeping firearms out of the wrong hands are just a few solutions to help prevent gun violence from harming communities. 

Ohio lawmakers need to properly fund and sustain community-based violence intervention (CVI) programs. These programs apply an effective, localized approach to gun violence prevention in communities disproportionately affected by gun violence. CVI programs play a crucial role in combating community violence, which reaches across all levels of the socioeconomic spectrum. Injuries stemming from gun violence are estimated to be around $557 billion annually and come at the cost of community safety and the well-being of our children and families. 

According to the Gun Violence Archive, in Ohio, there were at least 10 shootings over the weekend, resulting in at least seven deaths by guns and at least 33 people shot and wounded. In an average year, 1,728 people die and 3,526 people are wounded by guns in Ohio. This is a result of Ohio’s incredibly weak firearm laws, scoring only 13 out of 100 for gun law strength in the country.

Despite the state’s gun homicide rate increasing over the past decade, higher than the nationwide increase, state legislators recently passed a dangerous Shoot First law, encouraging violence and vigilantism in public—and eliminated the requirement that a person get a permit and safety training before carrying a concealed gun in public. Ohio also recently passed a dangerous law which allows K–12 schools to arm teachers. 

 Learn more about gun violence in Ohio here.  

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