The South Carolina chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement urging lawmakers to take action on gun safety in response to a recent influx in high-profile shootings across the state. On Monday night, a youth baseball game in N. Charleston was interrupted by gunfire. A video taken by a parent showed a scene of confusion as dozens of shots rang out near the field. Though no players or parents were injured, one parent called the incident “traumatic” in an interview on Monday. The shooting comes as communities across the state are still reeling from other recent incidents of gun violence.
“If a barrage of bullets interrupting a kids baseball game isn’t a loud enough wake-up call for our lawmakers, I don’t know what is,” said Chantelle Mitchell, a volunteer with the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are sick of not feeling safe in our neighborhoods, in our malls, or even at our children’s sporting events. Lawmakers must act now to put an end to South Carolina’s gun violence crisis, and they can start immediately by funding violence intervention programs conducting life-saving work.”
Instead of pushing policies like permitless carry that are proven to make communities less safe, South Carolina legislators should be working to advance common sense gun safety measures that will save lives across the state — starting with funding violence intervention programs that have been shown to reduce gun violence in some of the most heavily impacted communities. HB 4814, introduced by Rep. Jermaine Johnson, would create a Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Division within the South Carolina Department of Public Health and Environmental Control that would be tasked with operating a grant program to fund such programs. The state legislature also has the option to fund these programs through the state budget process.
Last night, the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action hosted their United in Action call, with a focus on violence intervention programs. The call featured presentations from partner organizations, a Q&A with Rep. Jermaine Johnson, and opportunities for volunteers to take action, including making calls to lawmakers in support of funding in the budget and HB4814.
More information on gun violence in South Carolina is available here.