North Carolina average of more than 1,300 gun deaths each year

Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed June 3 as Gun Violence Awareness Day to raise awareness and remember the lives of those lost to gun violence.

“We cannot forget these tragedies when they fade from the news,” Cooper said. “I’ve taken executive action to help in North Carolina, but we can do more. It’s past time for common sense reforms that must take place at the congressional and legislative levels — stronger background checks, red flag laws, banning assault weapons and community violence interventions so that we can prevent these horrific events.”

This year marks the 8th annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day in memory of Hadiya Pendleton who would’ve celebrated her 25th birthday this year. She was tragically shot and killed in 2013.

North Carolina has the 17th highest rate of gun deaths in the nation with an average of more than 1,300 gun deaths each year.

At Gov. Cooper’s direction, North Carolina added more than 280,000 criminal convictions to the background check system. He also took executive action in 2019 that requires state agencies to take increased action on closing crime reporting gaps between state and federal agencies and expands firearm safety education.

The governor’s recommended budget proposal for FY 2022-23 budget provides $38.7 million to enhance community and school safety statewide, including $20 million to the Department of Public Instruction to create average daily membership-based school safety grants and make the competitive school safety grants in last year’s budget permanent.

Cooper’s budget recommendations also includes $5 million for violence intervention grants, $2.5 million recurring for violence education and prevention programming for at risk and juvenile justice-involved youth, $1 million for the purchase of gun locks and $200,000 for a safe storage campaign and administrative costs of distribution of gun locks.

The governor supports increased investment in community violence intervention programs. Community violence intervention and prevention initiatives focus on individuals at the highest risk of violence and use prevention and intervention strategies to reduce violence and retaliation. Cooper has included violence intervention as a top funding priority for the Governor’s Crime Commission and recently proposed $5 million for community violence intervention grants.

The North Carolina Executive Mansion will be lit orange June 3 – 5 in honor of Gun Violence Awareness Day.


Read the proclamation HERE.

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