September 13, 2021

Congressman Neguse Sends Letter to Congressional Leadership Calling for Gun Violence Prevention Funding in Final Reconciliation Bill

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer that calls for increased community violence intervention (CVI) program funding to be included in the final version of the Build Back Better Act. The letter highlights the negative emotional and economic impacts of the gun violence epidemic and proposes a robust community-based grant program to support innovative violence prevention strategies aimed at young people and high-risk demographics.

“The communities we represent have all been dramatically impacted by gun violence. The pain and suffering caused by such violence is simply unimaginable. Yet, gun violence continues unabated and CVI programs remain badly underfunded,” wrote Congressman Neguse and his colleagues. “When properly implemented and consistently funded, coordinated, community-based strategies can produce life-saving and cost-saving results in a short period of time… In total, gun violence costs the United States $229 billion every year. Congress must use every legislative tool available to fund a comprehensive agenda to protect Americans from the pain, agony, and financial toll of gun violence.”

Congressman Neguse has consistently called for common-sense gun reform, including a federal assault weapons banuniversal background checks, and funding for violence prevention programs. In August, Neguse introduced the Secure Background Checks Act to address the loophole that was exploited during a 2019 incident in Colorado in which a background check failed to confirm Sol Pai’s eligibility to purchase a gun in her home state. The bill would secure federal background checks and help keep communities safe.  

Read the full letter HERE and below:

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The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                                     The Honorable Chuck Schumer

Speaker of the House of Representatives                                   Senate Majority Leader

United States House of Representatives                                    United States Senate

H-232, The Capitol                                                                    S-221, The Capitol

Washington, D.C. 20515                                                            Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Schumer: 

We write today to urge that you include significant funding in support of community violence intervention (CVI) programs in the Build Back Better reconciliation bill, like those proposed in the Break the Cycle of Violence Act (H.R. 4118). Gun violence is a significant public health and public safety concern that continues to stymie social and economic development in our communities. Funding CVI programs in the reconciliation bill is an opportunity to simultaneously prevent gun violence and establish safer, healthier communities.

The communities we represent have all been dramatically impacted by gun violence. The pain and suffering caused by such violence is simply unimaginable. Yet, gun violence continues unabated and CVI programs remain badly underfunded. From high profile mass shootings like those in Boulder, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada, to smaller interpersonal conflicts, 75 percent of all homicides in the United States are committed with a gun. The impact does not end there. In studies of some urban hospitals, researchers have found that up to 45 percent of patients treated for injuries, like gun shots, were violently reinjured within five years.

When properly implemented and consistently funded, coordinated, community-based strategies can produce lifesaving and cost-saving results in a short period of time. The federal Break the Cycle of Violence Act proposes $5 billion over eight years for a competitive grant program to community-based organizations and local units of government that develop effective, prevention-oriented violence reduction initiatives focused on young people at highest risk for violence. These programs would identify those at highest risk, coordinate individualized wraparound resources, provide pathways to healing and stability and monitor and support long-term success. Strategies which will allow our communities to build back better.

The toll that gun violence has taken on our communities is not only emotional and physical, but also economic. On average, a single gun homicide generates approximately $448,000 in medical care and criminal justice expenses. In total, gun violence costs the United States $229 billion every year. Congress must use every legislative tool available fund a comprehensive agenda to protect Americans from the pain, agony, and financial toll of gun violence. 

We look forward to working with you on funding CVI programs that protect Americans from the onslaught of gun violence. Thank you so much for your consideration. 

Sincerely, 

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