NEW YORK –– Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown’s grassroots network, responded to the inclusion of key suicide prevention measures, domestic violence prevention provisions, expansion of VOCA victim assistance funds, and voter access provisions in the Heroes Act––the pandemic relief bill announced by House Democrats today. This news comes after a month in which Everytown has advocated for increased domestic violence prevention measures, suicide prevention measures, and voter access provisions during the pandemic.
The bill also includes key state and local funding that can be used––along with VOCA funds––to support community based violence intervention programs that address the disproportionate impact of gun violence on communities of color.
“As millions of Americans shelter in place, the House of Representatives is taking critical steps to reduce the types of gun violence that happen behind closed doors, including suicide and domestic violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Shootings don’t stop during a pandemic, and all future stimulus packages must continue to address this deadly problem.”
“The COVID-19 crisis has created a web of related crises and, when it comes to gun violence, exacerbated a pre-existing one,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “This legislation is a good step towards preventing gun suicides and daily gun homicides, as well as protecting victims of domestic violence, and the Senate should support these measures, too. We applaud Speaker Pelosi for continuing to lead on such a crucial issue.”
The increase in gun sales during the pandemic has led to increased risks of community gun violence, unintentional gun violence, domestic violence, and gun suicide. Everytown has also launched a petition to tell Congress to secure our safety with gun safety provisions and funding for vital services to keep our communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.