Roundtable Today Includes Administration’s Efforts to Support Proven Community Violence Intervention Programs
WASHINGTON — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements ahead of a White House roundtable and remarks from President Joe Biden on the Administration’s efforts to address gun violence and support public safety strategies, including community violence intervention programs.
The roundtable features the President joined by mayors and law enforcement from across the country, including Mayor Jane Castor of Tampa, FL and Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City, MO, both co-chairs of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and Reggie Moore, Director of Violence Prevention Policy and Engagement for the Medical College of Wisconsin and expert in community violence intervention programs.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is pulling every lever at its disposal to combat America’s gun violence crisis,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Staunching the flood of gun violence that is inundating so many communities means combining both upstream solutions like taking on gun traffickers and shutting down rogue gun dealers, and downstream solutions like investing in community violence intervention programs—and the Biden-Harris Administration is acting on both fronts.”
“Moms Demand Action volunteers put everything on the line in 2020 to make sure President Biden and Vice President Harris were elected, and the Administration’s continued commitment to ending gun violence is exactly why,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Inaction is not an option, which is why it’s so critical the White House is continuing to support and prioritize the community violence intervention programs that are proven to save lives on the front lines of this epidemic, while also bolstering ATF to crack down on gun trafficking that’s flooding our cities.”
“As our cities face spikes in shootings, there is an urgent need to invest in the proven community violence intervention programs that we know will make a difference,” said Michael-Sean Spence, senior director of Community Safety Initiatives at Everytown for Gun Safety. “The Biden-Harris Administration has taken bold action to unlock American Rescue Plan funding and ensure access for these lifesaving programs which will allow them to sustain and scale their incredible work which is so essential to reversing these spikes.”
“As gun violence reaches crisis levels, we need approaches like this Administration’s that recognize gun violence as an issue at the intersection of both public safety and public health,” said Reggie Moore, Director of Violence Prevention Policy and Engagement at the Medical College of Wisconsin and attendee at the White House roundtable today. “Ending gun violence requires engaging every partner we have, from the White House, to law enforcement, to community members themselves.”
“Gun violence is an urgent crisis facing our cities, and there can’t be any stone left unturned in our efforts to end this epidemic,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, co-chairs of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and attendees at the White House roundtable today. “Stopping violence in our cities requires continual collaboration—like today’s robust discussion between the President and senior administration officials, mayors, and police chiefs. As co-chairs of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, we are committed to working diligently, creatively, and with all who are interested in crafting real, lasting solutions on behalf of the communities who are bearing the brunt of this epidemic.”
The Biden-Harris Administration has been the strongest gun safety administration in history. Upon entering office, President Biden made enacting the American Rescue Plan (ARP) one of his top priorities. He signed it as record gun sales during the pandemic fueled record gun violence and his Administration issued guidance that unlocked American Rescue Plan funds for community violence intervention programs, opening up millions for these proven, live-saving programs.
Everytown has worked closely with members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and coalition partners to support their efforts to invest ARP funds in gun violence prevention, sharing information on the flexible use of these critical funds to keep communities safer and highlighting evidence-informed strategies. Everytown has also worked with coalition partners in states including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Wisconsin, California, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, as well as D.C. as they have cumulatively invested hundreds of millions of dollars in American Rescue Plan funds to support violence intervention programs, and with other states including New York, Oregon, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Washington as they have invested in community-based solutions to end gun violence through state budget funds.
President Biden has repeatedly provided community violence intervention (CVI) the support and investments it needs by leveraging 26 existing federal grant programs to support CVI, educating states on how to use Medicaid funding to reimburse CVI, and calling for a $5 billion investment in CVI as part of the American Jobs Plan and later including it in the Build Back Better Act. Last June, the Administration formed the Community Violence Intervention Collaborative, a cohort of 16 jurisdictions committed to using federal funding to scale and strengthen their CVI infrastructure. The Administration just launched a new $50 million grant program dedicated to CVI. And, President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget calls for $500 million devoted to evidence-informed, community-based interventions to address gun violence in cities.
The Administration has also focused on addressing the influx of illegal guns into communities. The Administration has taken bold actions on gun trafficking, rolling out new “strike forces” to crack down on illegal gun trafficking in five key corridors to help stem gun violence in major cities. The Administration also directed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to focus on rogue gun dealers and take steps to shut them down. Last month, following years of advocacy from Everytown and Moms Demand Action, the Biden-Harris Administration finalized a rule to rein in ghost gun dealers and stop the flood of untraceable, unserialized guns into our communities. President Biden also nominated Steve Dettelbach to become the next director of the ATF.
Everytown is a member of the Invest In Us Coalition, a group of community and national violence prevention organizations committed to building support for increased federal funding for evidence-informed community solutions to gun violence and educating leaders and the general public about proactive solutions to make our communities safer.