DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Dozens of people gathered outside Durham police headquarters Friday wearing orange for National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
“A day to remember the people who’ve been stolen from us,” said Kaaren Haldeman, an organizer of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “To remember our responsibility to protect our loved ones and our neighbors, to know that we’re all in this together, but also to celebrate life.”
Haldeman’s organization has partnered with the Durham Police Department, calling to reduce gun violence.
During the event, there was a proclamation read, followed by a moment of silence.
“This event really brings attention to the victims of violent crime, which has been an issue not only in Durham, but nationwide,” said Brandon Parrott, the coordinator for Durham Crimestoppers.
Haldeman, a mother, was inspired to fight gun violence, after the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Connecticut that killed 20 children and six adults.
She says gun violence has also hit closer to home.
“I also have deep friends here now in Durham who are families, who’ve lost their children, lost their mothers, lost their siblings, and it’s not ok,” she said.
On Thursday, a bill started making its way through the House that would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit.
Haldeman says the bill goes against her fight.
“That is not a move towards prevention,” she said. “That is an expansion of rights that will make us less safe.”
Durham police say there has a been a year-to-year increase in getting illegal guns off the streets through programs like Crimestoppers.
Chief C.J. Davis made a commitment to work on reducing gun violence in the city.