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Michigan Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Shooting of Naomie Skinner, a 25-year-old Black Transgender Woman, in Highland Park

February 25, 2022

The Michigan chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to the death of, Naomie Skinner, a Black transgender woman from Highland Park, who was shot and killed by her boyfriend on February 12th.

“Naomie was a young woman who’s been robbed of her future. Our hearts are with her loved ones during this difficult time,” said Mia Reid, a volunteer with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Naomie’s death is a tragic reminder of the need for stronger gun laws, including laws that protect victims and survivors of domestic violence and reduce the disproportionate impact of gun violence among transgender and gender non-conforming people. We will continue fighting for change to protect our state from all forms of gun violence, including domestic violence and gun violence that disproportionately impacts Black trans women.” 

Michigan law does not currently prohibit domestic abusers from possessing guns. Senate Bills 678 and 679, and House Bills 5371 and 5372 would close this dangerous gap by prohibiting individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes from purchasing or possessing firearms. Closing a dangerous loophole at the state level will protect victims and survivors of domestic abuse by keeping guns out of the hands of abusers. 

Naomie’s death is at least the 4th violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2022 in the United States and Puerto Rico. It’s likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered

Some trends from 2017 to 2021 that researchers fear will continue in 2022:

  • There was an 93% increase in incidents of tracked transgender homicides from 2017 to 2021 (from 29 incidents in 2017 to 56 incidents in 2021). 
  • 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 gun homicide victims in the trans community. To put this into perspective, while Black people make up 16% of the trans population, 73% of known trans gun homicide victims between 2017 and 2021 were Black women.
  • Interpersonal violence accounts for a significant number of fatalities against transgender and gender non-conforming people. A report by the HRC Foundation found that between 2013 and 2021, approximately two thirds of transgender and gender non-conforming people with known killers had their lives taken by an acquaintance, friend, family member or intimate partner. 

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.

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