On Friday, Governor Tom Wolf called on the General Assembly to approve his $6 million budget request for proactive programs to combat community gun violence – a four-fold increase from previous years. Pennsylvania lawmakers should approve this budget request – because the best time to combat gun violence is before it even happens.
Community-based violence intervention and prevention programs apply localized approaches to gun violence prevention that are well-suited to address gun violence in the hardest-hit neighborhoods. These programs identify individuals who are at the highest risk of shooting or being shot, and work to reduce violence through targeted interventions that include de-escalating potentially violent conflicts, providing case management support services, and transforming community norms around violence.
Earlier this month, Governor Wolf focused on gun violence prevention in his budget address in Harrisburg. Governor Wolf’s budget included $6 million in funding for community gun violence prevention – an increase from $1.5 million in the two previous years. Calling the gun violence in Pennsylvania “a public health crisis,” Gov. Wolf also specifically proposed extreme risk legislation — also known as a red flag law — and mandatory background check legislation.
The grants will be directed toward community programs in cities, suburbs, and rural areas across Pennsylvania. The programs focus on evidence-based strategies or promising practices as recommended by the governor’s Special Council on Gun Violence related to preventing gun suicide, reducing community gun violence, preventing domestic violence-related shootings, reducing the likelihood of unintentional shootings, and combatting mass shootings.
If you’re interested in speaking with a Moms Demand Action volunteer about funding for community gun violence prevention, don’t hesitate to reach out.