WASHINGTON — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements applauding the House of Representatives for passing the FY-2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) appropriation bill. The bill contains several historic investments that will help prevent gun violence and invest in community violence interruption programs.
“With gun violence on the rise, the House is meeting the moment and making historic investments to keep Americans safe,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Now it’s time for the Senate to do its part and pass these critical measures, which cannot come soon enough for communities and families on the frontlines of our nation’s gun violence crisis. We thank Chair DeLauro for bringing this bill across the finish line.”
“Ending gun violence demands comprehensive and holistic solutions, and with this budget the House continues to invest the necessary resources to make real progress and save lives,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Our grassroots army of volunteers and supporters across the country is proud to support this effort and will continue working to support gun sense leadership in Congress.”
This legislation represents wins of significant gun violence prevention priorities including:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health would each see an increase in funding of $12.5 million for research on firearm injury and mortality to better understand its causes and to inform prevention strategies, bringing the total annual funding for gun violence research to $50 million. A fact sheet on why funding gun violence research matters is available here.
- Community violence intervention programs that provide life-saving, evidence-informed services to communities most impacted by daily gun violence, would see a historic investment. The appropriation bill funds the existing grant programs the Biden-Harris administration directed to support community violence intervention, and makes an additional investment of $115 million at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control for grant programs specific to community violence intervention.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) would receive $28 million to fund the national strategy for suicide prevention and $113 million for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. SAMHSA is directed to build infrastructure to prepare for the launch of the new 988 number, and focus on suicide prevention policies and programs that limit access to firearms and other lethal means when an individual is in crisis as part of its comprehensive efforts. SAMHSA is directed to work with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Lifeline on secure gun storage policies, out of home storage maps, and to encourage the use of tools like extreme risk protection orders.
- The Department of Education would receive $1.1 billion for School Safety National Activities to be used to support of improved access to comprehensive mental health services and establishing positive school climates, and $1 million to study the potential mental, emotional, and behavioral health effects of active shooter drills on students and staff in elementary and secondary school settings.
Earlier this year, Everytown for Gun Safety took part in a House Oversight Committee press conference announcing a new Government Accountability Office report showing that the immediate health care costs of gun violence exceed $1 billion per year. Everytown research has shown that the short and long-term economic costs of gun violence totals $280 billion per year.