Biden administration to create new gun violence prevention office

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(Missouri Independent) – The White House announced the formation of an Office of Gun Violence Prevention that will help states and local governments as they implement a gun safety legislative package President Joe Biden signed into law last year.

Lacking additional action in Congress to curb gun violence, “the Office of Gun Violence Prevention along with the rest of my Administration will continue to do everything it can to combat the epidemic of gun violence that is tearing our families, our communities, and our country apart,” Biden said in a statement.

Following mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, Congress passed the most comprehensive federal gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years, known as the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

In Buffalo, a white supremacist targeted a Black neighborhood and killed 10 Black people in a grocery store. In Uvalde, 19 children and two teachers were murdered, making it the second-deadliest mass shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012.

There will be a formal announcement of the office Friday in the Rose Garden that survivors of gun violence from Buffalo, Uvalde, Sandy Hook, and other mass shootings are expected to attend, Stefanie Feldman, who will lead the office, said on a call with reporters.

Feldman said the office will be overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris, and that the office will also help coordinate support for communities impacted by gun violence.

“We know true freedom is not possible if people are not safe,” Harris said in a statement. “This epidemic of gun violence requires urgent leadership to end the fear and trauma that Americans experience every day.”

There have been 506 mass shootings this year alone, according to Gun Violence Archive, an organization that tracks gun violence in the U.S.

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Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom, a network of state-based nonprofit news outlets that includes The Missouri Independent. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance. Before joining States Newsroom, Ariana covered public health and chemical policy on Capitol Hill for E&E News. As a Florida native, she's worked for the Miami Herald and her hometown paper, the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and NPR. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.