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New York State Assembly Passes Legislation That Will Support Gun Violence Survivors and their Families; Everytown, Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action Applaud

May 18, 2023

Volunteers and Supporters Have Done Over 1500 Digital Campaign Actions Over the Past Two Legislative Sessions Urging Lawmakers to Pass Legislation that will Allow Fair Access to Victim Compensation  

New York — Today, the New York chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding the New York Assembly for passing A.2105-A —  legislation to help victims and survivors of crime and their families to receive the economic support they need by expanding eligibility and removing administrative obstacles that can make it challenging to receive that support. The bill will now go to New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s desk. 

“After my sons were killed, everywhere I went in my home from the couch, to the mailbox, to the dinner table I was reliving my trauma and met with an indescribable grief — I needed to move to start my healing journey, but I did not have the resources and was met with several barriers when I applied for victim compensation,” said Pamela Hight, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action and Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network. Pamela’s son Ya-Quin English, was shot and killed on Christmas Eve in 2013 and her other son, Jermaine Hight, was stabbed and killed on June 12, 2016. “Today, the New York State Assembly has removed unnecessary hurdles that kept survivors and their families from accessing the resources they need to heal and rebuild their lives, and we urge Governor Hochul to sign this bill quickly into law.” 

In the aftermath of gun violence, survivors and families require physical, emotional, and financial support. However, several current eligibility requirements make economic support  inaccessible for many communities of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, working class people, people with health conditions or physical impairments, and immigrants. This bill would update New York’s law to remove those hurdles. Fair access to survivor compensation is a social equity issue. Making compensation funds for survivors and their families more accessible is in the best interest of building stronger, safer communities across New York. 

In an average year in New York, 939 people die by guns and 1,991 people are wounded. Gun violence costs New York $11.4 billion each year, of which $301.2 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in New York is available here.

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