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May 12, 2023

NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Students Demand Action and Moms Demand Action, released the following statements today ahead of Sunday’s one year mark of the mass shooting at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York during which 10 people were shot and killed and three others were wounded.

“Today, families and survivors are reminded that our nation’s gun violence epidemic has robbed our entire community of the simple pleasure of work and weekend grocery shopping without the fear of being shot and killed by a white supremacist armed with hate and an assault weapon,” said, Zeneta Everhart, mother of Zaire Goodman who was wounded in the shooting while working at Tops. “We remember the lives taken and forever impacted by this heinous shooting and remain committed to disarming hate and addressing gun violence perpetrated by white supremacists and in all its forms.”

“A year has passed since the tragedy at Tops supermarket, but we know the emotional pain of that day is still acute for so many people in Buffalo, especially the Black community,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “While we can’t bring back the victims of that horrific hate crime, our lawmakers can make it harder for people to get their hands on assault weapons and gun accessories that have no place on our streets — and that’s exactly what we’re pushing for.”

“Last year, ten people were murdered and three people were wounded because a white supremacist was able to access an assault weapon and commit a violent, hateful attack in a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, Executive Director of Moms Demand Action. “Guns make hate and white supremacy deadlier and we will continue to show up and fight to protect communities from both the mass killings and the daily shootings that plague our country.” 

In the wake of this tragic mass shooting last year, as well as the one in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, the Senate began negotiations that resulted in President Joe Biden signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a historic gun safety, mental health, and school safety law — the first major federal gun safety law to pass Congress in nearly 26 years. The law establishes an enhanced background check process for gun buyers under age 21, provides federal funding to implement state Red Flag laws, disarms domestic abusers by addressing the dating partner loophole, and funds community violence intervention programs, among other items.

While the logjam on federal action was broken with the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and the work to implement it continues, the country has sadly been reminded that there is much more yet to do. From a mall in Allen, Texas, to a dance studio in Monterey Park, California, to a school in Nashville, Tennessee to a bank in Louisville, Kentucky, there have been more than 200 mass shootings so far this year in addition to the pervasive, daily acts of gun violence that never make headlines. 

Tomorrow, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers are holding nearly 200 events across the country calling on Congress to reinstate the bipartisan assault weapons ban. Assault weapons are often not only the weapon of choice for mass shooters, but also for those motivated by hate. That was the case in Buffalo last May and it was, again, the case last weekend in Allen, Texas, where a reported white supremacist used an assault weapon to take the lives of eight people and wound at least seven more at an outlet mall.

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