The Pennsylvania chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding Governor Tom Wolf for announcing his plans to allocate an additional $15 million in gun violence prevention funding through the American Rescue Plan to the Pennsylvania Commission for Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). PCCD works directly to combat gun violence across the state through a number of violence intervention programs. The commission initially had $8 million for the next round of gun violence prevention grants to be funded in January.
“After a deadly year of gun violence, significant investment in strategies to reduce gun violence is more crucial than ever,” said Joyce Pickles, a volunteer with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The safety of Pennsylvania communities relies on the life-saving work of violence intervention programs that root out gun violence at its source. We are thankful to Governor Wolf for his continued commitment to fighting gun violence across our Commonwealth.”
To assist state and local governments, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law in March of 2021, authorizing $350 billion in funding for governments to counter the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. States, cities and counties can utilize ARP funds to counter surges in gun violence and support gun violence intervention programs performing essential public health work. More on how Pennsylvania could use these funds is available here.
In an average year in Pennsylvania, 1,574 people die by guns and 3,058 people are wounded. Gun violence costs Pennsylvania $12.1 billion each year, of which $567.4 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Pennsylvania can be found here.