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As Connecticut Lawmakers Enter Into Session, They Have the Opportunity to Provide Sustained Funding for Community Intervention Programs

February 7, 2024

HARTFORD, CT – Today, as Connecticut lawmakers convene for the start of the 2024 legislative session, lawmakers will once again have the opportunity to pass critical legislation to prevent gun violence in communities across the state. Following the passage of last year’s comprehensive gun violence prevention bill known as the “Governor’s Bill,” Connecticut has the opportunity to continue to invest in programs that are helping to keep communities across the state safe by creating a steady, sustainable funding source for community violence intervention programs through a reasonable tax on the profits of the firearm industry. 

“We’re grateful for our gun sense lawmakers who have continued to pass legislation that has made Connecticut a national leader in the fight against gun violence,” said Laura Kabel, a volunteer with the Connecticut chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Even with our strong laws, gun violence remains a persistent crisis in many of our communities and demands the involvement of all of us. Community violence intervention organizations are a critical part of the solution and our lawmakers must ensure these lifesaving programs have the resources they need to sustain their work.” 

Following the passage of the “Governor’s Bill” last session, Connecticut’s gun safety laws improved from being the fifth-strongest laws in the country to the fourth-strongest, according to Everytown’s Gun Law Rankings. To solidify Connecticut as a national leader in the fight against gun violence and support the community violence prevention groups leading this charge, lawmakers should consider a modest excise tax on the firearm industry, whose profits have been made by imposing substantial harm on Connecticut’s families, communities, and taxpayers. Through the recently-created Committee on Community Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention under the Department of Health, state officials would be able to ensure that the funds raised through this tax would be put to the best use. 

Community Violence Intervention (CVI) programs are evidence-backed, critical tools in reducing gun violence in the most impacted communities. While historic investments have been made at all levels of government, CVI programs still struggle to access promised funding and when they do, funding is restricted to programmatic expenses, too often preventing them from increasing staff, building their capacity or scaling to serve more people and places in need. It is critical that these types of programs receive the resources they need to serve communities most impacted by gun violence.

In an average year, 211 people die by guns in Connecticut and another 308 are wounded. Gun violence costs Connecticut $2.6 billion each year, of which $57.1 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Connecticut is available here

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