Amnesty International is grieved by this horrific tragedy. This is clearly an act motivated by hate against people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Our thoughts and solidarity go to the LGBTI community in Orlando and their families. We should not forget the victims of the Pulse club shooting and we should not forget lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people who have been victims of hate crimes worldwide.
The Orlando shootings are a tragic reflection on the US’s lax gun laws. Inconsistent and poorly implemented federal and state legislation has meant that powerful firearms continue to fall into the hands of those at risk of misusing them. The US authorities have a clear responsibility under international human rights law to protect the right to life. This means they must implement far more robust and effective regulations controlling access to guns. These should include, at a minimum, universal, comprehensive background checks and tight restrictions on the acquisition, possession and use of firearms.