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Monday, March 28, 2022

Fund the Police

The White House is responding to public concern about crime:
In his State of the Union address earlier this month, President Biden highlighted his comprehensive strategy to reduce gun violence. He emphasized the $350 billion in American Rescue Plan funds that we’ve made available for cities, counties, and states that enable them to hire more police and invest in proven strategies like community violence intervention. He talked about our efforts to crack down on difficult-to-trace “ghost guns,” part of an aggressive array of executive actions to reduce gun violence, taking more steps than any other Administration in its first year. And he repeated his call for Congress to take further action tackle the gun violence epidemic that continues to take more than 100 lives each day.

We have made strong progress by rolling out and executing on the President’s comprehensive gun crime reduction strategy. This strategy contains five key components:
  • Stemming the flow of firearms used to commit violence,
  • Supporting local law enforcement with federal tools and resources to put more cops on the beat and address violent crime
  • Investing in evidence-based community violence interventions
  • Expanding summer programming, employment opportunities, and other services and supports for teenagers and young adults to give them pathways away from crime
  • Helping formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reenter their communities instead of re-offending.
You can read a full summary of the progress we’ve made here. We are pulling all of the levers of the federal government to address this crisis. For example:
  • The President secured a bipartisan investment in fighting gun crime, including a new $50 million initiative to expand community violence interventions, additional funding for community policing, and the resources the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) needs to continue to enforce our existing gun laws.
  • The Administration made American Rescue Plan funds available for fighting gun crime, and cities and states across the country have taken up this opportunity.
  • The Justice Department is taking regulatory action to rein in the proliferation of “ghost guns”—unserialized, homemade firearms that are difficult for law enforcement to trace.
  • The Justice Department launched five new law enforcement strike forces focused on addressing firearms trafficking, including on the “Iron Pipeline” – the illegal flow of guns sold in the south, transported up the East Coast, and found at crime scenes from Baltimore to New York City.
  • In part due to action by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Connecticut and Illinois enacted legislation that allows Medicaid to reimburse providers for hospital-based gun violence prevention services.
That progress is made possible by the dedicated gun violence prevention team we have at the White House, working to combat gun violence—every day, from every angle. Under the leadership of Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, I coordinate the White House’s gun violence work. The solutions to gun violence are interdisciplinary, which is why we have built a multi-faceted, 12-person team of experts here in the heart of the Domestic Policy Council who have teamed up to drive forward our gun violence reduction agenda.