On Friday, September 22, 2023, in the Rose Garden, President Biden announced the establishment of a White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. This initiative builds on several actions President Biden spearheaded to advance gun violence prevention such as working with Congress to enact the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and issuing executive orders to support communities impacted by gun violence.
The creation of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention has been a top priority for advocates and survivors of gun violence. Many organizations have submitted letters to the Biden Administration in support of the initiative. In addition, Congressman Maxwell Frost (D-FL-10) and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced legislation earlier this year to create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy.
The White House recently shared its priorities for the newly established office, which include the following:
- Ensuring the swift implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and President Biden’s executive orders related to gun violence.
- Forming new executive actions that would advance the administration’s efforts to reduce gun violence.
- Identifying ways to expand coalition partners to help advance the passage of related state and local legislation.
- Garnering increased support for communities and individuals impacted by gun violence.
The White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention is overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris, a strong advocate for policies that address this critical issue. Stefanie Feldman, who has directly served President Biden during the current administration and during his time as vice president, is the Director of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Greg Jackson, a gun violence survivor himself who most recently served as Executive Director of ML Strategies client Community Justice Action Fund (CJAF) joined the Office as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director. Rob Wilcox, another leading advocate, will serve in an identical role.
The establishment of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention is the first endeavor of its kind. Organizations throughout the country continue to engage the federal government in support of a variety of gun violence reduction methods, and ML Strategies plays a role in that effort. On behalf of CJAF, our Washington team pushes for increased federal funding for community violence intervention programs at the justice department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a national non-profit organization that prioritizes community-based solutions to address gun violence in Black and Brown communities, CJAF and ML Strategies work extensively with the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, bipartisan congressional leadership, and other advocates including law enforcement associations to advance appropriations and policy goals.