Supervisor Lawson-Remer, Gun Safety Advocates Raise Awareness, Honor Victims Of Gun Violence

News Date

San Diego County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer and San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention (SD4GVP) held a press conference today to kick off Wear Orange and Gun Violence Awareness Weekend and highlight recent successes in preventing gun violence locally. They were joined by representatives from GIFFORDS Law Center and Team ENOUGH.

Wear Orange takes place June 7-9 to educate people about the dangers of gun violence and honor the lives lost to gun violence in San Diego County and across the nation. Wear Orange began after 15 year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago in 2013. In recognition, the County Administration Building will be lit orange this Friday evening, June 7.

Upcoming Wear Orange Events in San Diego County include: 

  • Saturday, June 8 10 a.m. to Noon: Bishop Cornelius Bowser and Shaphat Outreach are hosting an event for survivors of gun violence at Charity Apostolic Church, 3194 Market Street, San Diego CA 92102
  • Sunday, June 9: Numerous congregations from different faiths will observe Wear Orange 

“As a mother, I can't imagine losing a child to gun violence. No one should have to face such a painful tragedy, yet in our society it has become all too common,” said Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, Vice Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Gun violence can be prevented, and in San Diego County, we are taking the lead to keep our communities safe. Our policies are getting dangerous illegal guns off the streets, and keeping lawfully owned firearms secure and out of reach of children.” 

Gun safety advocates say local policies like those passed by the County of San Diego in the last three years, including a ban on ghost guns and the requirement of safe storage, are key to preventing firearm-related violence in San Diego.

“We are grateful for all that the County of San Diego has done in the past few years to address gun violence, including undertaking a comprehensive Gun Violence Reduction assessment to address the violence that impacts all San Diegans,” said Therese Hymer, President of San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention.  “That assessment resulted in a work plan which identifies 17 near-term actions the County will pursue, including safe firearm storage education to enhance the implementation of the County’s safe storage law. We fully support this critical safety effort,”said Therese Hymer, President of San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention.

In 2021 the County Board of Supervisors approved a policy introduced by Supervisor Lawson-Remer to prevent the possession and distribution of illegal, unserialized ghost guns, resulting in three times more ghost guns being removed from the streets than previously. Subsequently, 200 cases of violent crimes involving ghost guns were prosecuted locally.

Supervisor Lawson-Remer also passed a policy authorizing the County to explore lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Earlier this year, the County partnered with GIFFORDS to initiate its first legal action against a firearm manufacturer by suing Texas-based Defense Distributed, who is accused of rebranding illegal ghost gun manufacturing equipment to skirt California law.

Adam Skaggs, Chief Counsel & Vice President at GIFFORDS Law Center said, “Today we're gathering to mark Wear Orange Day, a day that was created in honor of Hadiya Pendleton, one of far too many Americans who’ve lost their lives to gun violence. In honor of Hadiya’s memory, we're committed to doing everything we can to stop gun violence — and that includes holding irresponsible members of the gun industry to account. GIFFORDS Law Center is proud to represent San Diego County in holding some of the most irresponsible members of the industry accountable. In particular, we seek to stop flagrant violations of California law by a Texas company called Defense Distributed that sells gun-making machines called the Ghost Gunner and Coast Runner to illegal gun traffickers and others  who can’t legally own guns. It’s wrong, it’s dangerous, and it’s illegal — and we’re proud to partner with San Diego County to stop it.”  

Stephan Abrams, who began advocating for gun safety and organizing student groups across California at just 15 years old, also attended the event on behalf of Team ENOUGH to share what young people across San Diego County think about gun violence.

Abrams said, “As a born and raised San Diegan and gun violence prevention advocate, I am grateful that Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer continues to be a champion and prioritize gun violence prevention. Gun violence is the leading cause of death for those under the age of 26 and it’s important for young people to continue to have a seat at the table. Gun violence awareness month and wear orange day are an important reminder of our mission to be the generation that will end gun violence.”

At the event Supervisor Lawson-Remer also presented a County of San Diego Proclamation to San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention for Wear Orange and to honor the organization for their advocacy to reduce firearm-related violence in the region.