The Massachusetts chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements applauding Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and the legislature for passing an economic development bill that will reserve $14 million for community violence intervention, $3 million for a grant program to support school safety infrastructure improvements, $2 million to provide behavioral health-related supports and resources in schools, and $1 million for a public education campaign on the state’s extreme risk law in consultation with the Department of Public Health and Department of Mental Health, a vital tool to prevent firearm access by individuals in crisis. The bill also includes significant investment for individual community organizations working to address gun violence and support at-risk youth – including capacity-building and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
“Addressing the root causes of gun violence requires a holistic approach and sustainable investments,” said Rina Schneur, a volunteer with the Massachusetts chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Those closest to the problems are often closest to the solution, and we applaud Speaker Mariano and Chair Michlewitz, President Spilka and Chair Rodrigues, and Governor Baker for their continued commitment to ensuring that there are adequate resources to implement evidence-informed, community-driven solutions in the fight against gun violence.”
While there is no one solution to end gun violence, community violence intervention programs play a key role in making cities safer. Community-led programs have been shown to reduce gun violence in some of the most heavily impacted neighborhoods. Leaders and lawmakers must create community-driven, evidence-informed implementation plans to ensure that resources are efficiently meeting the needs of the neighborhoods they are intended to serve. When implemented correctly, extreme risk laws are crucial to keeping guns out of the hands of individuals in crisis, preventing firearm suicides and other acts of gun violence.
In an average year in Massachusetts, 255 people die by guns and 557 people are wounded. Gun violence costs Massachusetts $3.5 billion each year, of which $85.4 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Massachusetts is available here.