TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded the New Jersey General Assembly and Senate for passing legislation to help prevent gun violence by supporting community intervention programs. The following bills, which passed with robust bipartisan support, now head to Governor Murphy’s desk:
- A4801/S3309, which would establish the New Jersey Violence Intervention Program in the Office of the Attorney General to fund violence reduction initiatives.
- A4802/S3312, which would require hospitals designated as Level One or Level Two trauma centers in municipalities with disproportionately high rates of firearm violence or homicide that have available resources to provide hospital-based or hospital-linked violence intervention programs.
- A4805/S3323, which would require victim counseling services to partner with trauma centers to refer certain victims to violence intervention programs.
- A4806/S3301, which would establish the Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program Initiative in the Department of Health.
“These programs recognize gun violence for what it actually is — a public health crisis,” said Jenifer Berrier Gonzalez, a volunteer with the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The legislation passed today supports a holistic approach to ending the shootings in our state. By working to break the cycle of gun violence and supporting victims of gun violence, we’re going beyond treating the symptoms and doing more to cure the disease.”
Community-based violence intervention programs — like the ones supported by the legislation passed today — apply a localized approach to gun violence prevention that are well-suited to address gun violence in the hardest hit neighborhoods. Hospital-based intervention programs engage patients while they are still in the hospital, often just hours after a violent injury, to reduce the chance of retaliation and violent injury recurrence. These programs reduce the likelihood that an individual will participate in retaliatory violence. More about local violence intervention programs can be found here.
The New Jersey Chapter of Moms Demand Action will continue to work with the legislature to pass A4803, which allows the Victims of Crime Compensation Agency to be billed for counseling services provided to victims of firearm and stabbing crimes, and A4804, which requires Medicaid to cover violence intervention counseling for victims.