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Buncombe County to Proclaim June as Gun Violence Awareness Month, Community Events Planned

a group photo of Buncombe employees wearing orange for gun violence awareness

In 2022, the Buncombe County Register of Deeds recorded 54 death certificates that showed gun violence was the cause of death. Forty-nine of those incidents occurred inside Buncombe County, and the youngest decedent was just 10 years old. Looking at the bigger picture, there were 45,222 firearm-related deaths in the United States in 2020 – that’s about 124 people dying from a firearm-related injury each day. More than half of firearm-related deaths were suicides, and more than 4 out of every 10 were firearm homicides.* In domestic violence (DV) cases, two-thirds of people killed by an intimate partner are killed with a firearm.**  Additionally, a 2021 study found that 59.1% of mass shootings were DV related and the victim fatality rate was higher than non-DV related shootings at 83.7%.***

Gun violence impacts all communities, families, and is a factor in the work that Buncombe County’s Justice Services, Public Health, Register of Deeds, and Sheriff’s Office does every day as we serve our community. “We must acknowledge the causes of gun violence and bring serious resources to bear to interrupt the cycle before shootings steal more members of our community,” notes Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Alan Thornburg. “I commend the County for undertaking this initiative.”

On Tuesday, June 6, the Board of Commissioners will proclaim June as Gun Violence Awareness Month, and the Buncombe County Courthouse will be lit in orange through June 9. There are several events happening throughout the month that will bring awareness to gun safety, share tips for safe gun storage, support community partners who are leading violence prevention efforts, and honor those who have been affected by gun violence in our community.

On June 2, Buncombe County employees wore orange to raise awareness of gun safety and support national efforts to end gun violence. On Sunday, June 4, a local Wear Orange event will take place at 3 p.m., at the Arthur R. Edington Education & Career Center to honor those who have died by gun violence.

Community leaders took part in a press conference to launch NC S.A.F.E., a campaign focusing on securing all firearms effectively. See the press conference here

In mid-June, the first cohort of Community Health Worker-Violence Prevention Professionals will complete their initial training with CHASM. These health workers will help lead a Community-Based Public Health Response to Violence (CPrV) for the next three years with partners including My Daddy Taught Me That, The SPARC Foundation, The Racial Justice Coalition, Resources for Resilience, and Youth Transformed for Life. To learn more, listen to the Buncombe County “Tapped In” podcast featuring Community Safety and Violence Prevention Coordinator Will Baxter here.

For tips on how to keep children safe around guns, visit








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Updated Jun 09, 2023 04:50 PM
Published Jun 02, 2023 05:00 PM