Gun Violence

New Study on Gun Violence Confirms That Queer Communities are at Higher Risk

· Updated on March 23, 2023

A new study has been released illustrating the impact of gun violence on the LGBTQ+ community and the consequences of the government’s inaction. The report found that there are 69 hate crimes each day involving a gun, with queer people at a higher risk for violence.

The study was conducted by Everytown for Gun Safety, and it was inspired by the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016. “Pulse is a reminder of the work that remains to end the acts of gun violence that wound and kill LGBTQ+ Americans today,” the report begins. “The thousands more killed by gun violence since Pulse underscore the glaring failure of our elected officials to take commonsense steps to combat the scourge of gun violence that plagues our nation.”

By analyzing data from the National Crime Victimization Survey over a 10 year period, the study identified a yearly average of 25k reported hate crimes involving a gun. While mass shootings get the most media coverage, most hate crimes are smaller scale and fly under the radar.

Everytown cites a study by the HRC which found that 17% of LGBTQ+ youth have reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property, compared to 6% of their non-LGBTQ+ peers. Of that 17%, 29% are transgender and 30% are questioning. And compared to cishet people overall, the report found that lesbian and gay people are twice as likely to experience violence, trans people are 2.5 times as likely, and bisexual people are 7 times as likely.

The report also found that transgender women of color are at increasing risk of hate crime violence. Everytown’s Transgender Homicide Tracker indicated a 93% rise in trans homicide victims from 2017 to 2021. 73% of these homicides were committed with a firearm. The report adds, “While just 13% of the trans population in the United States is estimated to be Black, 73% of known trans homicide victims were Black women.”

When it comes to gun violence, suicides account for 60% of firearm deaths in the US. Citing The Trevor Project’s 2022 survey, the report states that 45% of LGBTQ+ youth have seriously considered attempting suicide in the last year, with 1 in 5 trans and nonbinary respondents having attempted suicide. 90% of attempted suicides involving a gun are successful compared to 4% of those not involving a gun.

The report concludes with actions the US government can take to reduce the risk of gun violence against the LGBTQ+ community. The researchers call for the passage of the Disarm Hate Act, which would bar people convicted of a hate crime from possessing a firearm. They also call for the passage of “Extreme Risk” laws, which would allow law enforcement to confiscate firearms from a person deemed a danger to themselves and others. Finally, they call for more agencies focused on domestic terrorism in order to combat the rise in white nationalist and other violent extremist groups.

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