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Everytown, Moms Demand Action, GIFFORDS, Brady, Community Justice Action Fund, March for Our Lives Urge California Lawmakers to Support The Gun Violence Prevention, Healing, and Recovery Act 

April 21, 2023

The Act Would Establish the Gun Violence Prevention, Healing, and Recovery Fund, Supported by a Surtax on Firearm Industry Profits, to Make Long-Term Investments in Gun Violence Prevention and Victim Services 

SACRAMENTO — The national gun violence prevention organizations Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, GIFFORDS, Brady, Community Justice Action Fund, and March for Our Lives released the following statements urging California lawmakers to support AB 28, The Gun Violence Prevention, Healing, and Recovery Act, as a top legislative priority for California ahead of a pivotal hearing on Monday in the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation. The measure introduced by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, creates long-term investments in vital initiatives designed to prevent gun violence, protect and heal survivors, improve implementation and coordination of gun violence prevention activities, solve more murders and shootings, and promote justice and equal access to safety for all Californians.

Shannon Watts, California resident and founder of Moms Demand Action, the grassroots arm of Everytown for Gun Safety: 

“California Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers are a political powerhouse: from getting out the vote to elect gun-sense leaders at every level to testifying and advocating for measures that have made California the leader in the fight against gun violence. We’re grateful for our lawmakers’ commitment to the safety of California families and for introducing a measure that holds the gun industry accountable while funding life-saving community-based violence intervention and prevention programs. We hope every lawmaker understands the urgency in passing this critical measure that will make every Californian safer from the threat of gun violence.” 

Mike McLively, Policy Director, GIFFORDS Center for Violence Intervention: 

“AB 28 is GIFFORDS’s top legislative priority in California because it would make permanent and transformational investments in safety and survivors’ wellbeing. Gun violence is the leading cause of death for the American child and the firearm industry has reported record sales and profits for years at a time of record spikes in gun violence. Amid all the great gun safety legislation in California this year, this bill–the Gun Violence Prevention, Healing, and Recovery Act–stands out. We are proud to have worked to write this bill to invest $1 billion over the next decade in programs that keep violence interrupters on the job, expand school-based mental health services, provide trauma support to survivors, invest in gun violence research, solve more murders, and build a future free from violence.”

Kris Brown, President of Brady:

“Following horrific mass shootings earlier this year, California legislators are again proving why their state leads the country on addressing gun violence. Providing long-term investments in vital initiatives is a proven way to stop gun violence before it begins, including evidence-based community violence intervention programs and ensuring the removal of firearms from people subjected to a domestic violence restraining order. Brady is proud to endorse this legislation that will go a long way in protecting Californians from gun violence and urges its passage.” 

Zeenat Yahya, March For Our Lives’ Policy Director 

“The gun industry has made a fortune off of flooding our communities and neighborhoods with guns, and causing widespread violence and death. This bill rights an historic wrong by investing in solutions that address the root causes of gun violence, intervening before firearms are used in violent incidents. And it does so by putting the onus to fund these programs on the very businesses whose reckless practices cause violence in the first place. March For Our Lives, and the young people who make up our movement and help decide elections with our growing votes, are pleased to support AB 28.”

Greg Jackson, Executive Director, Community Justice 

“California legislatures have made it clear – saving lives from the crisis of gun violence epidemic is a top priority. AB 28’s investment in violence intervention programs will help those most affected by these tragedies, which are often Black and brown people. For decades, these communities have demanded community-led gun violence prevention strategies to promote community outreach and hospital-based violence intervention. Community Justice remains focused on advocating for policies, resources, and proven, community-driven solutions to improve public safety and keep guns off our streets. We are honored to support AB 28 and look forward to a future where we are no longer plagued by gun violence.”

One of the programs AB 28 would invest in is the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) grant program, which funds cities and community-based organizations providing violence intervention and prevention services to the communities hardest-hit by gun violence. These life-saving programs need sustained, long-term funding streams to continue their work from year to year – especially as state budget funding fluctuates. 

Additional programs which would receive funding through the Gun Violence Prevention, Healing, and Recovery Fund include: 

  • School mental health services and other protective measures for students impacted by gun violence. 
  • Gun violence research through the California Firearms Violence Research Center and research-center led initiatives to educate health care providers about interventions for preventing firearm suicide and injury. 
  • Initiatives that ensure safe removal of firearms after a domestic violence restraining order or gun violence restraining order has been issued.
  • Trauma-informed support services to direct secondary victims of mass shootings and other gun homicides.
  • The creation of the Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Program to equitably increase clearance rates for gun homicide and shooting investigations.

Policy experts and volunteers from Everytown, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, GIFFORDS, Brady Campaign, Community Justice Action Fund, and March for Our Lives, alongside local community-based organizations, healthcare professionals, faith-based organizations and other gun safety advocates have partnered to advocate for lifesaving measures like AB 28 and other gun safety policies in California, attending and testifying at hearings, meeting with legislators, and engaging in public discourse explaining the need for life-saving measures.  

In an average year, 3,253 people die by guns. With a rate of 8.1 deaths per 100,000 people, California has the 45th-highest rate of gun deaths in the US. The state ranks 45th nationwide for the societal cost of gun violence at $1,060 per person each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost California $41.9 billion, of which $1.1 billion is paid by taxpayers.

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