Justice Department Dedicates “Faces of Gun Violence” Exhibit at ATF’s Inaugural Gun Violence Survivors’ Summit

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Director Steven M. Dettelbach of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) dedicated a new “Faces of Gun Violence” exhibit today at a ceremony hosted during ATF’s Inaugural Gun Violence Survivors’ Summit. The exhibit honors and memorializes those whose lives have been tragically lost to gun violence.

“As we remember those we have lost to gun violence, the Justice Department promises that we will strive every single day to honor their lives in our work,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “We promise that we will not rest until every family, every law enforcement agent, and every community is safe from the devastation of gun violence. As our dedicated ATF agents pass by the ‘Faces of Gun Violence’ exhibit every day, it will stand as a powerful monument to those they are fighting for.”

“Today, survivors of gun violence, including those in law enforcement, came together to tell their stories and engage in important discussions about preventing gun violence, which continues to devastate families and communities across the country,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “I thank the women and men of ATF for the work they do every day to keep our communities safe and for convening this Summit. And I’m especially grateful to today’s participants who have lost loved ones to gun violence and who honor their memories by fighting for a better, safer future.”

“The ‘Faces of Gun Violence’ exhibit is a permanent reminder of what ATF comes to work to do every day — a reminder of why agents risk their lives and why everyone at ATF dedicates their careers to this mission: to honor the fallen and protect the living,” said ATF Director Dettelbach. “This exhibit both honors and tells the stories of the victims of firearms violence. And it reminds us to keep front and center the lives, the stories, and the courage of those who have been impacted by firearms violence.”

The “Faces of Gun Violence” exhibit consists of a wall and digital kiosk. The wall consists of 118 photos of people who have been killed by gun violence in, among other incidents, mass casualty events, such as school shootings; community shootings; domestic violence shootings, and by suicide. The photographs on the wall will stay up for one year, until another 118 photographs take their place at next year’s Gun Violence Survivors’ Summit. 

Alongside the wall is the digital kiosk, which contains the same photographs with accompanying short biographies for each person. The kiosk will remain for the foreseeable future, and new photos and bios will be added after each year’s dedication on a rolling basis as they are submitted. 

The dedication was the final event of the day, concluding ATF’s Inaugural Gun Violence Survivors’ Summit, which brought together more than 200 survivors of gun violence, members of law enforcement, U.S. Attorneys, health care professionals, and victim advocates. The Summit included remarks by Deputy Attorney General Monaco and San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan, as well as a number of panel discussions that focused on experiences of survivors of gun violence, firearms and domestic violence, law enforcement as survivors, and the effects of secondary trauma. 

By sharing experiences, discussing the toll gun violence takes on lives, and learning about ATF’s mission and efforts to respond and prevent violent crime, the Summit increased understanding and transparency.

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