First-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention will focus on implementing executive and legislative action — including Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — to address gun violence in America.
Last week, President Joe Biden announced the establishment of the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. The goal of the office, which will be overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris, is to reduce gun violence and implement and expand upon key executive and legislative action. Stefanie Feldman, a longtime policy advisor to President Biden on gun violence prevention, will serve as Director. She will work alongside gun violence prevention advocates Greg Jackson and Rob Wilcox, who will join the Administration as Deputy Directors of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
“Every time I’ve met with families impacted by gun violence as they mourn their loved ones, and I’ve met with so many throughout the country, they all have the same message for their elected officials: ‘do something.’ It’s why, last year, I signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to keep guns out of dangerous hands, and have taken more executive action than any President in history to keep communities safe. But as I’ve said before – while these are important steps, they are just the first steps toward what is needed,” said President Biden.
“That’s why I’m announcing additional steps forward, with the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, overseen by Vice President Harris, to build upon these measures and keep Americans safe. The Office will include Stefanie Feldman, who has capably led my Administration’s gun violence prevention efforts and been a trusted aide for more than a decade, alongside leading experts Greg Jackson and Rob Wilcox whose own lives and families have been touched by the tragedy of gun violence. They have turned their pain into purpose and dedicated their careers to being advocates for change – that important work will continue as they join my team in these new roles.”
“I’ll continue to urge Congress to take commonsense actions that the majority of Americans support like enacting universal background checks and banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” President Biden continued. “But in the absence of that sorely-needed action, 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.”
“Every person and every child deserves the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and live up to their God-given potential,” commented Vice President Harris. “Every family, in every community, should have the freedom to live and to thrive. We know true freedom is not possible if people are not safe. This epidemic of gun violence requires urgent leadership to end the fear and trauma that Americans experience every day.
“The new Office of Gun Violence Prevention will play a critical role in implementing President Biden’s and my efforts to reduce violence to the fullest extent under the law, while also engaging and encouraging Congressional leaders, state and local leaders, and advocates to come together to build upon the meaningful progress that we have made to save lives,” she continued. “Our promise to the American people is this: we will not stop working to end the epidemic of gun violence in every community, because we do not have a moment, nor a life to spare.”
The Office of Gun Violence Prevention builds on actions taken by President Biden to end gun violence, including signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA). The BSCA:
- Aims to keep guns out of the hands of individuals under 21 who are prohibited from purchasing firearms.
- Empowers the Justice Department with new authorities to prosecute firearms traffickers.
- Improves access to mental health services in schools to help young people deal with the trauma and grief resulting from gun violence.
- Invests in community violence interventions.