CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The North Carolina chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement in response to an active shooter situation Wednesday afternoon on the University of North Carolina’s graduate school campus. According to reports, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill was on lockdown due to an armed and dangerous person on campus. This is the second lockdown on the university’s campus in two weeks after a gunman shot and killed a graduate professor on August 28.
“It happened again – for the second time this semester, we had to go into an active shooter lockdown on campus. Going to school in America means feeling like you’re in the middle of a war zone,” said Kyle Lumsden, volunteer with Students Demand Action and a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill in North Carolina. “Nothing about this is normal, nor can we keep living and learning in an environment where we’re constantly worrying about whether we might be shot. We need our lawmakers to act on gun safety now more than ever because their thoughts and prayers aren’t doing anything to save us.”
This session, North Carolina passed a dangerous bill that repealed the background check requirement for unlicensed handgun sales. The bill was vetoed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper but then overridden by the legislature. Firearms are the leading cause of death for children, teens, and college-aged students (ages 1 to 25) in the United States. Following the passage of the bill, gun sales skyrocketed in North Carolina when compared to last year. The Trace reported that in July of this year, people bought 119% more guns than in July of 2022 in North Carolina. It has only increased since.
Every year, 19,000 children and teens are shot and killed or wounded and approximately 3 million are exposed to gun violence. Children and teens in the U.S. are impacted by gun violence in all its forms. Exposure to gun violence has an impact on the psychological and mental well-being of children and teens and affects their school performance, among other factors.
To protect North Carolinians, the state should reverse its current course and reinstate its background check requirement, expand its domestic violence laws to prohibit abusers from possessing firearms and enact an Extreme Risk law to temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing firearms.
In an average year, 1,588 people are killed by guns in the state, with a 47% death increase from 2012 to 2021, compared to a 39% increase nationwide. Gun violence costs North Carolina around $19.5 billion each year. More information about gun violence in North Carolina is available here.
To speak to a North Carolina volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please reach out to [email protected].