The New York chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after New York lawmakers finalized this year’s budget and included a grant program to better utilize the Victim of Crime Act (“VOCA”) funding to support violence intervention programs in the state’s 2021 budget plan.
“Local gun violence intervention programs work, period,” said Diane Rinaldo, a volunteer with the New York chapter of Moms Demand Action. “By ensuring funding for these community-based programs, our state lawmakers have made a life-saving difference in the communities hit hardest by gun violence. We applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, Speaker Carl Heastie, and all our lawmakers for allowing our community partners to continue this fight to end daily gun violence in New York.”
The Community Violence Intervention Program Act, originally sponsored by Senator Myrie and Assemblymember Richardson, allows New York to address daily gun violence across the state by funding community-informed programs using federal dollars, with limited additional costs. VOCA funding comes from a federal reserve, made available every year to each state. However, many state agencies are not utilizing the funds, leaving much of the reserve unspent while there are an overwhelming number of survivors of gun violence in need of support services. Read more about violence intervention programs here, and more about VOCA funding in a report by Everytown for Gun Safety and Cities United here.
More on Gun Violence in New York
- In New York, on average, 370 people die by firearm homicide, and 1,522 people are wounded by gun assault or shooting by police.
- Black people in New York are 15 times more likely to die by gun homicide than white people.
- Gun violence costs New York $5.9 billion each year, of which $321 million is paid by taxpayers.
- Read additional statistics about gun violence in New York here.