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Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Statement on Shooting of Trans Woman in Independence

September 25, 2020

The Missouri chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety grassroots networks, released the following statement on the death of Aerrion Burnett, a Black trans woman who was shot and killed in Independence, Missouri last Saturday. Her death is at least the fourth shooting of a Black trans woman in the Kansas City metro area in the last year and a half.

“Our hearts ache for Aerrion and her family,” said Kara Werner, a volunteer with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Kansas City has a growing crisis on its hands that, so far, has remained unchecked. Until we strengthen our gun laws, trans women will continue to pay the price of senseless gun violence.”

Aerrion Burnett was at least the 22nd trans person killed nationwide this year, according to Everytown research accessible through EveryStat. She is at least the fourth trans woman to have been shot and killed in the Kansas City metro area after Brooklyn Lindsay, Jamagio Jamar Berryman, and Brianna “BB” Hill were all killed in the past year and a half.

Between 2017 and 2019, there were 80 homicides of trans or gender non-conforming people in America, and three-fourths of these victims were killed with a gun. In a report released this summer, research by Everytown reveals that while just 16 percent of the trans population in the U.S. is estimated to be Black, 79 percent of known trans homicide victims were Black. For Black trans women especially, guns are inextricable from the threat of violence.

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