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Mayor: Second Amendment rights go ‘hand-in-hand’ with gun reform

For the first time, Tulsa is recognizing June 2 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Mayor G.T. Bynum issued a proclamation saying supporting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens “goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns away from people with dangerous histories.”

The proclamation says that 120 Americans die by gun violence every day, with 49 Tulsans dead in 2022.

“As a city, we renew our commitment to encourage responsible gun ownership to help keep our families and communities safe,” reads the document.

Kay Malan with gun safety group Moms Demand Action said the family of Saint Francis mass shooting victim Dr. Stephanie Husen encouraged Bynum to make the designation.

“I have been communicating with the Husen family to encourage them. They have been very active all on their own,” said Malan.

June 1 marked the one-year anniversary of 48-year-old Husen’s murder. She was shot to death at Saint Francis Hospital along with 59-year-old Dr. Preston Phillips, 40-year-old receptionist Amanda Glenn, and 73-year-old patient William Love. 45-year-old Michael Louis, a disgruntled patient of Phillips’, used an AR-15 and a handgun for the killings before ending his own life.

Malan said Bynum’s proclamation shouldn’t be written off as just empty words.

“Tulsa is one of the two major cities in Oklahoma. Tulsa also happens to be in the midst of the top 50 cities with the most gun violence, so it’s important for our leaders in our cities and our states to come out and make statements publicly,” said Malan.

Saturday a gun safety awareness gathering will be held at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Brookside from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Malan said there will be a slate of speakers and information on gun violence prevention at the family-friendly event. There will also be a blood drive. You can schedule your donation time online at the Oklahoma Blood Institute’s website.

Before joining Public Radio Tulsa, Elizabeth Caldwell was a freelance reporter and a teacher. She holds a master's from Hollins University. Her audio work has appeared at KCRW, CBC's The World This Weekend, and The Missouri Review. She is a south Florida native.