Read a PDF of our statement here.

This evening, Legal Defense Fund (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Janai S. Nelson issued the following statement concerning the national crisis of gun violence in the United States:

“LDF mourns and grieves with the community of Uvalde, Texas, following the horrific mass shooting at Robb Elementary School yesterday by an 18-year-old male who was able to lawfully purchase military-grade weaponry to kill 19 children and two adults. LDF has long supported gun control — in front of the Supreme Court, and in federal, state, and local legislatures.

“Rampant gun violence in the United States results in a disproportionate number of deaths of Black and Latino persons. Yesterday’s atrocity, coming on the heels of the mass shooting of 13 Black people in Buffalo, New York; a mass shooting of Asian church parishioners in California the same day, and subway shootings in New York City this month and last, underscores the pervasive threat and devastation that will continue to spread so long as our lawmakers continue to value guns over people.

“We call on Congress to act swiftly and immediately to pass common-sense gun control legislation, even if doing so requires reforming the archaic and unrepresentative parliamentary maneuver known as the filibuster. On an issue of such profound importance, Congress must stop accepting a status quo where the will of a majority of Senators, collectively representing some 194 million Americans, can be disregarded by a minority representing 76 million fewer people, as was the case when the Manchin-Toomey bill came up for a vote in 2013.

“Before another life is needlessly lost — before another community is gutted and wrecked by preventable gun violence – we call on our national leaders to act.”


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.