The Minnesota chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after Hennepin County officials voted to allocate five million dollars of federal American Rescue Plan funds towards gun violence prevention initiatives. The funding will provide continued support to existing gun violence interruption programs and help create coordinated programming focused on violence prevention and reducing disparities in communities most impacted by gun violence. Minnesota Moms Demand Action volunteers attended county meetings and provided testimony in support of the funding.
“This critical investment is a win for gun safety and a win for our community,” said Leah Kondes, a volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Minnesota is facing a gun violence crisis — violence intervention programs on the ground in our communities are a critical tool in the fight to save lives and deserve sustained support. We applaud our local leaders for taking this important step to address gun violence in Hennepin County.”
President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law in 2021, authorizing $130 billion in funding for local governments to counter the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. ARP allows states and local governments to utilize funds to prevent or address gun violence in cities. Hennepin County previously allocated five million dollars towards gun violence prevention initiatives in 2021.
Community-based violence intervention programs apply an effective, localized approach to gun violence prevention, providing evidence and community-informed, comprehensive support to individuals who are at greatest risk of gunshot victimization. These programs are shown to reduce gunshot wounds and deaths in the neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence.
In an average year, 462 people die and 680 people are wounded by guns in Minnesota. Gun violence costs Minnesota $2.9 billion each year, of which $83.3 million is paid by taxpayers. Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Minnesota. Learn more about gun violence in Minnesota here.