SAN MATEO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DESIGNATES JUNE 7, 2019 AS NATIONAL GUN VIOLENCE AWARENESS DAY

Supervisor Dave Pine Champions Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence in San Mateo County

REDWOOD CITY – Today, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution designating June 7, 2019 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The National Gun Violence Awareness Day was inspired by friends of Hadiya Pendleton, who was tragically shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 in 2013.  Orange is the color that her friends wore in her honor, and since then orange has been the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement.

“San Mateo County can best focus on reducing gun violence by acting locally,” said Supervisor Dave Pine. “In recent months, the County Board of Supervisors adopted legislation I co-sponsored to improve the requirements for safe storage of firearms in the home, supported a highly successful gun buy back event, and now joins other communities in honoring victims of gun violence.”

In the U.S., 100 Americans are killed by gun violence every day and on average there are nearly 13,000 gun homicides every year. Firearms are the second leading cause of death for American children and teens and access to a gun increases the risk of death by suicide by 300 percent.

“Wear Orange and National Gun Violence Awareness Day are dedicated to honoring the lives of Americans affected by gun violence, said Roberta Jurash, Local Group Lead for the Northern Peninsula chapter of MOMS Demand Action. “MOMS Demand Action is grateful for the ongoing partnership with San Mateo County in identifying and taking proactive steps locally to reduce gun violence.”

To honor the lives of those whose lives are cut short and the countless survivors who are injured by shootings every day, a national coalition of organizations has designated the first Friday in June, which this year falls on June 7, 2019, as the 5th National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The day is marked by the wearing of orange in solidarity with the broad based effort to end gun violence.

As part of the heightened attention to gun violence, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office announced new community outreach and public education efforts to highlight its firearm destruction program where residents can voluntarily surrender an unwanted firearm to the Sheriff.

“Our gun destruction program reduces the prevalence of unwanted guns as well as the risk of them being used in a crime or being involved in an accidental discharge,” said San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos. “Each gun turned in for destruction contributes to an increase in public safety.”

According to data collected in 2018 by the Citizens for a San Mateo County Gun Buy Back from participants at two separate gun buy back events, a large number of respondents (27% in May 2018 and 60% in December 2018) reported that they surrendered their firearms for “safety reasons,” and nearly half of respondents indicated that they did not know how to properly store an inherited firearm.

“By proclaiming June 7th Gun Violence Awareness Day and wearing orange for the day, we join other communities around the country in raising our collective voice against gun violence,” said Pine.  “Here in San Mateo County, we are committed to doing our part to address this critical issue.”