CONTACT: Wenona Wolf, Communication and Development Manager
[email protected], 608-284-0580 x 304 (office) 608-807-7772 (cell)
MADISON, WI –According to a new report, 33 kids were killed by guns in Wisconsin in 2016—the highest number since 2003. Despite the increase in children being killed by guns, lawmakers in the state and the country have done very little to create sound policies that will keep children safe from gun violence.
Wisconsin witnessed its deadliest year since 2003 for child gun deaths in 2016—with 17 children ending their own lives with guns and 15 children dying by homicide. Child gun deaths not only jumped this year in Wisconsin, but the number of children killed with guns rose nationally in 2016 as well.
“One child lost to gun violence is one too many, so when 33 children in our state are being killed by guns we should be jumping forward into action,” said Ken Taylor, Executive Director of Kids Forward. “The toll these deaths have on families, communities, and the future of our state is tremendous. Lawmakers need to act to address this problem.”
Between 1999 and 2016, 461 Wisconsin children lost their lives to gun violence. Most of these deaths occurred outside of Milwaukee County. Since 1999, a child has been killed by a gun in 63 out of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.
Child gun deaths are affecting families and communities throughout our state and action is needed to stop these senseless deaths. It’s well past time that lawmakers in Wisconsin and in our nation’s capital take real action to protect kids from gun violence. An easy first step for lawmakers is to fund research on gun violence and gun safety—something that national lawmakers have prevented by blocking funding for research that could yield useful information about what causes gun violence, who is most at risk, and models, strategies, and policies for preventing these deaths.
“If lawmakers refuse to make child safety and gun violence a priority then perhaps it’s time that voters demand that they do,” added Taylor. “The coming elections are a perfect opportunity for people to show that we’ve had enough and we want leaders who will invest in solutions that will keep our children free from gun violence.”