FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 10, 2021
Alyson Malinger, West End Strategy Team
Virginia Funds Gun Violence Prevention
During 2021 Special Session
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence applauds the passage of a budget that addresses community violence intervention, will advocate for more necessary measures during next general assembly
RICHMOND — Following the approval of the 2021 Virginia budget, gun violence prevention advocates celebrated $5 million that will be allocated to community gun violence intervention initiatives, but noted that it is only a first step. The amount is $32 million less than what a coalition of advocates, including the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, had called for to help curb Virginia’s epidemic of gun violence.
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Virginia State Director Lori Haas issued the following reflection on this year’s special session:
“Due to Virginia’s ability to jumpstart the economy following initial hurdles of the COVID-19 pandemic, our state had an opportunity to combat another public health crisis during the current special session. Although $5 million is not nearly enough to eradicate gun violence in all its forms within the Commonwealth, we look forward to working with our partners to ensure these funds are allocated equitably using effective strategies that center those most impacted by gun violence and make all our communities safer.
“The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence will continue to be vocal advocates during the next general assembly including calling for the creation of an office of gun violence prevention to serve as a central hub for best practices in combating gun violence. The office would specifically support community-based intervention and interruption programs, share information, build firearm suicide prevention programs and reduce child and teen firearm access by promoting safe storage.
“We will continue to work to urge lawmakers to address community violence in cities that have suffered from increases in homicides during the pandemic. Virginia must invest in proven public health guidance to fully promote the safety and well-being of all its residents.”
About the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Founded in 1974, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization. We believe gun violence should be rare and abnormal. CSGV develops and advocates for evidence-based solutions to reduce gun injury and death in all its forms.