BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after Jo Acker, a 26-year old trans woman, was identified as one of the people who was shot and killed in Monday’s shooting at Towne Square Mall in Boise.
“Transgender women continue to be shot and killed at alarming rates in our country,” said Jacquelyn Hamilton, a volunteer with the Idaho chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We need action to prevent more families from having loved ones taken by this public health crisis — starting with our state lawmakers next session.”
Jo is at least the 42nd transgender or gender non-conforming person to be killed in 2021 in the United States and Puerto Rico, although it’s likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered. Jo was not initially recognized as transgender until her friends and social media confirmed her identity.
2020 was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S., with at least 44 people being shot and killed. Some trends from 2017 to 2020 that are on track to continue in 2021:
- Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. Three-fourths of trans people killed in America were killed with a gun.
- Black trans women account for the majority of homicide victims in the trans community. To put this into perspective, while Black people make up 16% of the trans population, 75% of known trans homicide victims between 2017 and 2020 were Black.
Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has tracked homicides of transgender and gender non-comforming 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.