Package Included the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, a Top Everytown Priority That Funds Evidence-Informed Violence Interruption and Prevention Programs Proven To Reduce Gun Violence
WASHINGTON – Everytown for Gun Safety today released the following statements applauding U.S. House passage of the public safety package, including the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, the Violent Incident Clearance and Technological Investigative Methods (VICTIM) Act, the Mental Health Justice Act, and the Invest to Protect Act.
“Gun violence is at emergency levels across the country, and the most impacted communities desperately need immediate and local interventions that are proven to save lives,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud House lawmakers for passing this legislation, which will provide those who are bearing the brunt of our nation’s gun violence crisis with the tools they need to prevent senseless shootings.”
“Black and Latinx communities bear the brunt of America’s gun violence epidemic — and while survivors and grassroots volunteers have been organizing and fighting back to save lives, they need support and investments in the local violence intervention programs they know work,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “The deadly cycle of gun violence that continues to tear apart our communities must be broken and the grassroots gun violence prevention movement is grateful for the House passing this historic legislation.”
Led by Congressman Steven Horsford (D-NV) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), the Break the Cycle of Violence Act is one of Everytown’s top federal legislative priorities. The bill would provide historic investments to communities for evidence-informed gun violence intervention and prevention programs designed to interrupt cycles of violence. This long-term funding builds upon American Rescue Plan funds, existing federal grant programs that the Biden-Harris administration has authorized to immediately fund community violence intervention programs, and funding for violence intervention programs included in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The community-based violence intervention strategies supported by the Break the Cycle of Violence Act are informed by public health models and provide trauma-responsive services to individuals and communities impacted by gun violence. These programs have been proven to reduce gun violence, shift community norms, and improve the outcomes and resiliency of gun violence survivors.
The Break the Cycle of Violence Act would create a $5 billion federal grant program over the next eight years for cities with high rates of gun violence to support local government, hospitals, and community-based organizations, and a new $1.5 billion federal grant program for year-round job training and workforce development in communities disproportionately impacted by gun violence. It would also create an Office of Community Violence Intervention within the Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate the grant program and other provisions, and establish a Community Violence Intervention Advisory Committee composed of community gun violence intervention experts and frontline workers representative of the communities most impacted by community gun violence.
Everytown is proud to be a member of the Invest In Us Coalition, which helped make this progress possible. The coalition is comprised of community and national violence prevention organizations committed to building support to fund evidence-based community solutions to gun violence and educate leaders and the general public about proactive solutions to make our communities safer.
Among Black and Latinx Americans, 68 percent of American adults or someone they care for have personally experienced gun violence in their lifetimes. In addition to the community trauma inflicted by the failure to take action, gun violence costs taxpayers, survivors, families, employers, and communities $557 billion each year.