TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement applauding the Legislature for alloting $10-million in funding for community violence intervention programs. These programs provide evidence- and community-informed support to individuals who face a greater risk of gun violence. The legislation now heads to Governor Phil Murphy’s desk.
“This is a victory for all New Jersey families,” said Jenifer Berrier Gonzalez, a volunteer leader with the New Jersey Chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This funding has one clear goal: saving lives. Our state has mourned the tragic loss of far too many of our loved ones to senseless acts of gun violence. However, with the inclusion of this funding, our communities will be better equipped with the necessary resources to address its underlying causes and break cycles of violence. We thank our gun sense champions in the legislature for their leadership in getting this funding into our state budget and look forward to it becoming law promptly.
While there is no one solution to end gun violence, Community Violence Intervention Programs like the Paterson Healing Collective in TK, play a key role in making communities safer. Organizations like h By utilizing a public health model, community-led programs have been shown to reduce gun violence in some of the most heavily impacted neighborhoods. While these programs are often uniquely situated to address violence in their communities, they need support from policymakers in order to sustain and expand their life-saving work. Leaders and legislators must invest in these community-driven, evidence-based interventions. More information about city gun violence is available here.
A 2020 Everytown Research report found that gun homicides and assaults occur at high rates within cities, posing notable risks to public safety. Gun violence also disproportionately impacts historically underfunded neighborhoods, which reflects and amplifies this country’s long-standing systemic and structural inequities. Community Based Intervention Programs were shown to successfully reduce violence by implementing alternative public safety measures that are locally driven and informed by data.
In an average year, 427 people are killed by guns in New Jersey and another 874 are wounded. Gun violence costs New Jersey $5.3 billion each year, of which $168.9 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in New Jersey is available here.