City Hall – The New York City Council today passed a resolution establishing June as Gun Violence Awareness Month in New York City.

The resolution, sponsored by Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Task Force to Combat Gun Violence Co-Chairs Jumaane Williams and Fernando Cabrera, pledges to protect all New Yorkers by examining and creating meaningful solutions to prevent gun violence.

“The start of summer has historically, and tragically, also coincided with a sharp increase in the number of shootings in New York City,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Gun Violence Awareness Month will increase year round efforts to protect all New Yorkers and will strengthen the Council’s commitment to permanently reduce gun violence in our City.”

57 percent of all murders in New York City last year were a result of gun violence.

“Gun Violence Awareness Month needs to be a call to action for every single New Yorker,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams, Co-Chair of the Gun Violence Task Force. “To our at-risk youth, this is an opportunity to make positive life choices. To our communities, this is a rallying cry to pull together and demand safer streets as well as accountability from our young people. To our elected officials in Washington, this is a demand to abide by the pleas of the American people and pass meaningful reform. To us in city government, this is a reminder that the crisis will not end until we provide significant resources that turn our neighborhoods around.”

“It is a must to raise gun violence awareness. Although there has been improvement the work won’t be over until specific neighborhoods are no longer affected by the issue,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera, Co-Chair of the Gun Violence Task Force. “Designating a month specifically to focus all the efforts on this matter will give a 360 approach in which gun violence will be targeted more effectively producing results that will last.”

Gun violence has historically increased in the summer time. In 2011, shootings rose by nearly 120 percent during the months of July and August, in comparison with the rest of the year.

The resolution states: “Gun violence disproportionately impacts certain neighborhoods and populations. Nearly half of all shooting incidents in 2012 occurred in only 10 of the City’s 76 police precincts and 64 percent of the murder victims in New York City in 2012 were African American. Of the African American males aged 16 to 21 who were murdered in 2012, 86 percent were killed by a gun; and it is therefore clear that gun violence is a plague on our communities which must be stopped.”

The Council’s resolution was passed in conjunction with a resolution passed by the New York State Assembly on Monday recognizing June as Gun Violence Awareness Month.

Elected officials and community groups will hold town halls throughout June to address gun violence in New York City and to promote educational programs that will help prevent future incidents.

“I applaud Speaker Quinn for bringing this resolution to a vote today,” said Assembly Member Karim Carma. “The City Council joins New York State, Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Yonkers, Hempstead, and countless other cities and municipalities that have united in a message to abhor gun violence. Statistics have consistently shown that young black and Latino youth have a higher chance of death or injury by gun violence than just about any other category. The only way for us to combat this pervasive problem is through a coordinated and aggressive campaign. I thank Speaker Quinn and the New York City Council for joining us in our commitment to education and prevention of this ongoing public health crisis.
“I would like to commend Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Members Jumaane Williams and Fernando Cabrera for sponsoring this resolution,” said State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson. “The impetus behind this movement is to address this crisis that is destroying the promising lives of men, women and children throughout our communities. Almost every day we hear of another senseless death due to gun violence on our streets, and tragically, as the days get warmer and longer, the chances of this violence escalating greatly rises. We must foster partnerships with all interested parties in our communities to promote heightened vigilance ahead of that deadly cycle of gun violence.”
The resolution reaffirms the City Council’s commitment to reducing gun violence in New York City.

In December 2012, the Task Force to Combat Gun Violence presented its proposals to reduce gun violence to the Council. A shooting incident crisis management program, one of the key recommendations of the Task Force, is currently being piloted in five New York City neighborhoods.