FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2021
President Biden’s Gun Violence Prevention Leadership Means Congress Must Act
CSGV welcomes Biden administration’s much-needed executive orders, celebrates inclusion of extreme risk protection orders
WASHINGTON — The executive orders signed by President Biden are a positive, novel step forward in addressing America’s gun violence epidemic that destroys the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans each year, and these orders put even more pressure on Congress to act, say gun violence prevention advocates at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. As the nation acknowledges National Public Health Week, it is encouraging to see this administration put forth the first necessary steps to address the gun violence epidemic as the public health crisis that it is.
CSGV celebrated the inclusion of a requirement that the Justice Department create a model “red flag” law, also known as extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs). A consortium of legal and public health experts convened by CSGV affiliate organization the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (EFSGV) developed the original ERPO concept in 2013 in the aftermath of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the group recently released an updated set of recommendations to improve and enhance the effectiveness of ERPOs nationwide. Since 2013, 19 states and the District of Columbia have implemented the laws. The orders, which if approved by a judge, allow for the temporary removal of guns when a person poses an immediate threat to themself or others, are being used in those states to help prevent suicides, mass shootings and other types of interpersonal gun violence.
CSGV’s Executive Director Josh Horwitz issued the following statement:
“In my over 30 years in gun violence prevention, the plan outlined by President Biden to address gun violence is the most comprehensive and ambitious I’ve ever seen from a presidential administration. The executive actions the president unveiled today signal important steps forward to address the epidemic of gun violence, and that the time for waiting is over. Too many Americans have felt the horrific effects of American gun violence, and are united at record levels demanding action to prevent further gun violence.
“While reducing gun violence requires a comprehensive public health approach supported by a wide range of new policies, we are especially encouraged by the inclusion of extreme risk protection orders, a policy developed by a group of academics and experts we brought together in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. We are also excited to see the focus on further federal investments for community violence intervention and prevention programs. As a member of the INVEST IN US coalition, it is encouraging to see the Biden administration focus on these evidence-based solutions both in the American Jobs Plan and through executive power. On a personal note, I’ve known David Chipman for a long time, and I can confidently say that there is no person more knowledgeable and informed about the needs of the ATF. He will do a fantastic job.
“The Biden-Harris White House’s actions today are encouraging, but we continue to demand that the Senate pass the gun violence prevention measures that the House has already passed, so we have laws on the books to ensure Americans’ safety and well-being is prioritized. Now is the time for the Senate to use every tool available to pass life-saving measures into law.”
CSGV Federal Affairs Manager Dakota Jablon, who serves as Suicide Prevention Specialist at EFSGV, added:
“The actions taken today by President Biden are exactly the type of executive leadership that Americans voted for in November, and we applaud all of the different aspects of this program.
“We applaud the Biden administration for recognizing the growing threat of ‘ghost guns’ and for taking proactive action to address it. DIY gun kits are becoming increasingly popular amongst extremists and white supremacist groups. In the wake of the insurrectionist attack on the Capitol and an increase in hate crimes, the White House identifies this as a growing threat and is taking decisive action to address it before it manifests itself as a regular aspect of our gun violence epidemic.
“We know that community gun violence in impacted communities is an incredible burden on our society, yet it is rarely brought up in the debate over reducing gun violence. The fact that young Black males, ages 15-34, make up 2% of the American population, yet account for 37% of gun homicides, is a national shame and rooted in a deep history of racism, segregation, and discriminatory policies. The federal investments for these communities announced today is a vital step in addressing a nationwide plague that has been long ignored.
“But these actions taken today, while extremely important in this fight, are just the opening salvo of this administration’s efforts to address the gun violence epidemic and build a safer, and more equitable United States of America. In addition to these actions, Congress should make it a priority to pass the American Jobs Plan, which includes a historic $5 billion investment in evidence-based community-focused violence interruption programs that will reduce gun homicides in impacted communities.
“The American people are waiting for the Senate to pass nearly universally popular measures on background checks that have already passed the House, in addition to the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to disarm domestic violence abusers and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to create accountability and transparency in policing. Each one of these pieces of legislation would save American lives and begin constructing the blueprint for a comprehensive plan to end our American gun violence epidemic. President Biden has demonstrated his leadership today in the decades-long fight for gun violence prevention. Now is the time for Congress to act.”
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.