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California Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Shooting of Meraxes Medina, a Transgender Latina Woman in Los Angeles

April 4, 2024

LOS ANGELES – The California chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements in response to the shooting of 24-year-old Meraxes Medina, a transgender Latina woman who was found shot and killed in south Los Angeles. Police have a suspect in custody. 

“This is absolutely despicable. We are devastated to learn of the shooting of Meraxes Medina and our hearts are with her loved ones during this difficult time,” said Becky George, Chief Movement Building Officer at Everytown for Gun Safety. “It is unacceptable that transgender and gender-expansive people continue to disproportionately suffer the immense impacts of gun violence. Our hearts are broken, but we will never stop fighting for the safety and protection of the LGBTQ+ community.”

“Medina was at least the third transgender person killed by gun violence in just one week,” said Ashley Castillo, a student leader with Students Demand Action and National Organizing Board Member. “We cannot ignore the disproportionate impact of gun violence on our transgender and gender-expansive neighbors, especially its impact on Black trans women and trans Latinas. We must honor Meraxes legacy by continuing to fight to protect our transgender and gender-expansive communities not only in California, but across the country.” 

Medina’s death marks the third transgender person killed by gun violence in just the span of one week, following the murders of Alex Franco on March 19th and Diamond Brigman on March 16th. Marginalized groups face a disproportionate impact of gun violence on their communities. From January 2017 to December 2023, there were at least 263 homicides of transgender and gender expansive people in the United States, 193 of which were with a gun. It’s crucial to remember the startlingly disproportionate impact of gun violence within the transgender and gender expansive community. More than six in 10 gun homicides of transgender and gender-expansive people were of Black trans women, and one in 10 were of trans Latinas. So far in 2024, there have been at least four gun homicides of transgender and gender-expansive people. It’s also important to remember that there have likely been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered

According to the ACLU, 484 anti-trans bills have been filed in states across the country in just the 2024 legislative session alone. As states across the country continue to pass anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, it is clear: Political attacks and extremism fuel real-life violence, and hateful rhetoric has serious consequences for the safety of the LGBTQ+ community. When hate is paired with unfettered access to firearms, the consequences become even more deadly. To keep trans and gender-expansive people safe, lawmakers at every level must take action to prioritize legislation that disarms hate and protects marginalized groups from gun violence.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has tracked homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the U.S. since 2017. In addition to breaking down gun violence to the state- and county level, the platform includes a database of known trans or gender-nonconforming homicide victims in the United States. 

California has the strongest gun laws in the country. In an average year, 3,253 people die by guns in California. 49% of gun deaths in California are by firearm suicide. California does have a Hate Crime Prohibitor gun law in place. More information on gun violence in California is available here

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