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Illinois Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, Respond to Shooting of Briana Hamilton, a Black Trans Woman, in Chicago

September 24, 2021

The Illinois chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both grassroots networks of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement today responding to reports that a 25-year-old Black transgender woman, Briana Hamilton, was fatally shot in Chicago, Illinois on September 17. Reports indicate that Hamilton is at least the second Black transgender woman killed in Chicago during the past month and the fourth this year. Hamilton was also misgendered in some media and police reports. 

“Our hearts are with Briana’s loved ones during this gut wrenching time,” said Laura Lambert, a volunteer with the Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Far too often the lives of transgender individuals are cut short by gun violence. We remain committed to fighting for change in order to protect our state from all forms of gun violence, including violence that repeatedly and disproportionately impacts Black trans women.”

Briana Hamilton is at least the 37th violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2021 in the United States and Puerto Rico. So far in 2021, Everytown has tracked more violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people than ever by this point in the calendar year. 

Last year was the deadliest year on record for transgender and gender non-conforming people in the U.S., after 38 people were killed. Some trends from 2017 to 2020 that are likely to continue:

  • Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. Nearly 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 EveryStat platform includes a database of known trans or gender non-conforming homicide victims in the United States. As the numbers show, violence against the trans community is closely linked to guns, and 2021 is on track to be the deadliest year on record.

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