OLYMPIA, Wa. – The Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, and Community Passageways today applauded the Washington Senate Ways and Means Committee for advancing Senate Bill 6288, legislation to establish the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention. The office would promote effective state and local efforts to reduce preventable injuries and deaths from daily gun violence in Washington.
“Washington state is already known as a leading player in gun safety,” said Cause Haun, a volunteer with the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “This is a critical program that will help save lives in Washington communities –– as it already does in cities and states across the country. We’re thankful that our lawmakers continue to move forward with this legislation to help reduce gun violence in communities with the highest need.”
“As a youth felony diversion program based in Seattle, the majority of referrals Community Passageways receive involve firearms,” said Jessica Rock, Director of Operations for Community Passageways. “While our dedicated staff of credible messengers work on the ground in gun violence prevention and intervention, to fully realize the elimination of juvenile detention will require cross-system collaboration across our state. We are optimistic that the proposed Office of Firearm Violence Prevention can further our collective impact.”
The Office of Firearm Violence Prevention would promote effective state and local efforts to reduce preventable injuries and deaths from daily gun violence in Washington. Community violence intervention programs have already been successful in helping reduce daily gun violence in California, New York, and Massachusetts by applying localized approaches to addressing gun violence in some of their cities’ hardest-hit neighborhoods.
While Washington is a national leader in gun violence prevention, the state has not historically prioritized local violence intervention and prevention programs aimed at reducing interpersonal gun violence. Establishing the Washington Office of Firearm Violence Prevention would allow the state to support several effective gun violence reduction initiatives and create a case study for funding throughout the state.