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VICTORY FOR GUN SAFETY: Following Advocacy by Moms Demand Action and Student Demand Action Volunteers, New York Governor Kathy Hochul Signs Bill to Provide Medicaid Reimbursement for Programs Working to Break Cycles of Violence 


ALBANY, N.Y. —  The New York chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement applauding New York Governor Kathy Hochul for signing S580/A2893. The measure ensures that community violence intervention programs have sustainable financial support so that they can continue doing life-saving work on the ground to make our communities safer. Additionally, this bill will allow hospitals in partnership with community violence prevention programs to receive federal support to not only treat their patients’ immediate injuries but also help protect them from future physical and mental harm by ensuring follow-up care. 

“Today is a win for New Yorkers,” said Deb Antoniades, a volunteer with the New York chapter of Moms Demand Action. “With gun violence continuing to devastate communities nationwide, this legislation exemplifies New York’s longstanding commitment to combating this crisis. It’s a critical step towards breaking the vicious cycle of gun violence and securing sustainable funding for life-saving programs. We thank Governor Hochul for her steadfast commitment to public safety and look forward to continuing to partner with gun sense champions in Albany. Together, we will continue to position New York as a national leader in the fight against gun violence.”

“It is an honor to stand in support of this bill,” said Oresa Napper-Williams, Executive Director & Founder of Not Another Child. “As both a survivor of violence and a service provider, our organization consistently witnesses the unfortunate reality of limited access to vital services that aid survivors on their path to healing.  Today, we are proud to join Governor Hochul and our partners as this bill is enacted into law. We look forward to continuing working with leaders to protect New York families and survivors from gun violence.” 

“The Buffalo Peacemakers are commissioned to intervene in the lives of young people at the highest risk of gun violence, ” said Pastor James Giles, President & CEO, Buffalo Peacemakers. “We’re thankful to the state of New York for expanding Medicaid to community violence prevention services, this access will allow us to sustain our work in preventing gun violence.”

The newly signed measure is just one of many bills that Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers advocated for this legislative session. Among the bills on Governor Hochul’s desk are the Fair Access to Victim Compensation Act (S214/A2105), which seeks to help survivors of gun violence and other violent crimes access financial support, and the Grieving Families Act (S6636/A6698), which would modernize New York law and permit the families of victims killed by others’ wrongful conduct to recover compensation for their emotional anguish and other non-economic damages. 

While there is no one solution to end gun violence, Community Violence Intervention Programs play a key role in making cities safer. Organizations like The Buffalo PeacemakersLIFE Camp Inc, and Rise Up Rochester have been working to prevent gun violence, often without the sustained resources they need. By utilizing a public health model, community-led programs have been shown to reduce gun violence in some of the most heavily impacted neighborhoods. While these programs are often uniquely situated to address violence in their communities, they need support from policymakers in order to sustain and expand their life-saving work. Leaders and legislators must continue to invest in these community-driven, evidence-based interventions.

Gun violence costs New York $11.4 billion each year, of which $301.2 million is paid by taxpayers. Strong gun laws work – in New York, the rate of gun suicide decreased 19% and gun homicide increased 43% from 2012 to 2021, compared to a 19% increase and 73% increase nationwide, respectively. More information on gun violence in New York is available here.