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June in New York State is Gun Violence Awareness Month (GVAM), with other states across the nation taking part in Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 4th. This is a time when we as a community publicly re-commit to ending the scourge of violence overtaking our streets. When we treat gun violence as an epidemic—comparable to COVID or another crisis—we can address the co-determinants of our communities’ health to confront the problem.  Gun violence is now the leading cause of death amongst children in the United States, and is an issue that affects us all.


Our purpose is to bring  government, community, members of the Clergy, Labor, business, and nonprofits together  to elevate discourse and awareness around this important and devastating issue. We provide access to resources to educate the public and bring Gun Violence Awareness to the forefront of conversations across all groups, through programming and public education.


And, while the pandemic slowed a lot of things down, it didn’t slow down gun-related deaths and injuries in the United States. According to the CDC, over 45,000 people died from gun-related injuries just last year alone, including murders and suicides.


It is reported that 843 people die by guns in New York every year, and over 22,554 New Yorkers are impacted by gun violence annually. Though New York is rated the 48th highest in gun deaths in the country, there are signs that tell us that rate could increase if we do not remain vigilant in policy making and education.

Image by Dan Meyers
Image by Heather Mount


A stark percentage of gun related deaths are by suicide, with 54% of all gun deaths reportedly coming from suicides. According to the NYC Health Department, 541 suicides occured in 2019 alone and with the COVID-19 pandemic and its related stressors - feelings of isolation, job loss, financial stress, and housing issues - suicide rates are expected to increase, especially in the 45-64 year old age bracket. 


With the growing reality of more unknowns as we come out of a pandemic and people begin to relearn how to navigate a “new world” with new challenges, this campaign will be dedicated to exploring every opportunity to bring awareness and education on the issues and providing information, data, and educational opportunities for New Yorkers across the state.



New York was the first state to declare June as Gun Violence Awareness Month, and there are over 50  active organizations across the state of New York who work on gun violence prevention and gun safety that participate annually in bringing awareness to gun violence in New York.



Historically, gun violence prevention groups have held rallies and marches across the country from small towns to large municipalities. Organizations such as The Brady Campaign, Moms Demand Action, Everytown, and over 50 organizations across the state and within the New York City Crisis Management System  have launched branded awareness campaigns in June and beyond.

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