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Shooting at Local Youth Football Games in Virginia Highlights the Pressing Need to Create a Center for Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention

May 2, 2022

On Sunday morning, there were reports of two men being shot and injured during youth football games outside Benton Middle School, in Manassas, Virginia. As gun violence continues to devastate Virginia communities and threaten the safety of children and families across the Commonwealth, taking long-overdue action to create a comprehensive approach to addressing the root causes of gun violence has never been more important. 

State Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-9) and Delegate Marcia Price (D-95) recently penned an op-ed around the importance of passing Senate Bill 487 and House Bill 825, and establishing a Center for Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention at the Department of Criminal Justice Service. 
In the piece, it is explained that the center would put into place evidence-based solutions to reduce gun violence, create and execute best practices, bolster the state’s gun violence research efforts, deliver grants to communities across Virginia to address their specific local needs, offer training, and more.

From the piece:

“The Senate budget invests $27 million into the center to support community-based organizations working to prevent gun violence; a center whose work will have concrete impacts on the lives of Virginians while continuing to research bold, innovative solutions…

“… No more children, no more Virginians, no one else should have to lose their lives to senseless acts of gun violence. No other family should receive the news that a loved one will not be coming home. It’s time we take these lifesaving, common-sense steps to prevent gun violence in Hampton Roads, in Richmond and all across America.”

Currently, the Virginia legislature has yet to approve a new state budget. The legislature has been called into special session to review the proposal passed by the Senate, which includes millions of dollars in funding to gun violence prevention efforts, including $27 million to establish a Center for Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention.

If you have any questions, or would like to request an interview with a volunteer from Virginia Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

If you're a member of the media, please send inquiries to [email protected]