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Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Shooting of a Young Trans Boy and his Sibling in Ambridge

February 24, 2021

Shooting Comes Less Than a Week After a Trans Latina Was Killed in New Wilmington

The Pennsylvania chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement on the death of Jeffrey Bright, a 16-year-old trans boy, who was shot and killed along with his sister, Jasmin Cannady, in a domestic violence double homicide on Monday. Details are still emerging, but authorities have confirmed that both Jeffery and his sister were shot and killed by their mother. 

“Our hearts break for the family and friends touched by this awful shooting,” said Justin Cooper, a volunteer with Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action. “Strengthening our gun laws is the only way to prevent firearms from falling into the hands of those who want to do harm. We urge our lawmakers to take up gun safety legislation as soon as possible.”

“When adults refuse to take action on our state’s loose gun laws, young people and our state’s most vulnerable pay the price with their lives,” said Taylor Shaw, a volunteer with Students Demand Action at the University of Pittsburgh. “We vow to honor Jeffrey and Jasmin’s lives with action, and won’t stop fighting to end gun violence until we’re all safe.”

This is the second death of a trans person in Pennsylvania in recent weeks, after Chyna Carrillo,a trans Latina, was beaten to death in New Wilmington last Thursday. Jeffrey Bright is at least the seventh reported trans person killed in 2021, although it’s likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims have been misgendered. Last year was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S. after 38 people were shot and 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. 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. As the numbers show, violence against the trans community is inherently linked to guns and 2020 was the deadliest year on record.

In an average year in Pennsylvania, more than 1,500 people die by gun violence. Altogether, gun homicides, assaults, and police shootings cost the state $5.6 billion each year. Read more about gun violence in Pennsylvania here.

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