New office will focus on implementing executive and legislative action, including historic Bipartisan Safer Communities Act signed by President Biden, to end the scourge of gun violence in America
Tomorrow, President Biden will announce the establishment of the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention to reduce gun violence, which has ravaged communities across the country, and implement and expand upon key executive and legislative action which has been taken to save lives.
The new Office of Gun Violence Prevention will be overseen by Vice President Harris, who has been a been a key leader in the Biden-Harris Administration’s effort to end our nation’s gun violence epidemic. Stefanie Feldman, a longtime policy advisor to President Biden on gun violence prevention, will serve as Director of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, alongside leading gun violence prevention advocates Greg Jackson and Rob Wilcox, who will join the Administration as Deputy Directors of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
Statement from the President: “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.
“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. 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.”
Statement from the Vice President: “Every person and every child deserves the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and live up to their God-given potential. 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. 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.”
About Stefanie Feldman:
Stefanie Feldman has worked for President Biden for more than a decade. She currently serves as Assistant to the President and White House Staff Secretary, and will now add the role of Director of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention to her responsibilities. Previously, she served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to the White House Domestic Policy Advisor, the National Policy Director for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign, the inaugural Policy Director for the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware’s Joseph R. Biden School of Public Policy & Administration. She started her career in various policy roles in the White House Office of the Vice President during the Obama-Biden Administration. After the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in December 2012, she was part of the team that helped then-Vice President Biden develop executive actions and legislation to reduce gun violence. She holds a B.A. from Duke University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
About Greg Jackson:
Greg Jackson will serve as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Greg has been a gun violence prevention leader for over ten years. A survivor of gun violence, Greg has led Community Justice Action Fund, a national, survivor-led gun violence prevention organization focused exclusively on the impact to Black and brown communities. Greg has testified before Congress and has regularly appeared in an array of media outlets including Time, CNN, Vice News, The Problem with Jon Stewart, The Washington Post, MSNBC and “Price of Freedom” HBO Documentary. Greg holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia.
About Rob Wilcox:
Robert Wilcox will also serve as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Previously, Rob served as the Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety. His tenure at Everytown has included advising policymakers at all levels of government, leading the organization’s federal advocacy efforts, and testifying before Congress. Previously, Wilcox worked at Brady, served on the Board of Directors of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, and practiced law at a firm in New York City. He holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from Northwestern School of Law. His work honors his cousin Laura, who was shot and killed at nineteen, and is inspired by the tireless advocacy efforts of his Aunt Amanda and Uncle Nick.
The Office of Gun Violence Prevention builds on historic actions taken by President Biden to end gun violence in our country: including signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant legislative action in nearly 30 years aimed at doing so, and taking more meaningful executive action than any other president to make our schools, churches, grocery stores, and communities safer.
The Biden-Harris Administration has worked to implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun violence prevention legislation in nearly 30 years. This legislation is already saving lives by keeping guns out of the hands of individuals under 21 who are prohibited from purchasing firearms, empowering the Justice Department with new authorities to prosecute firearms traffickers, improving access to mental health services in our schools to help young people deal with the trauma and grief resulting from gun violence, and investing in community violence interventions.
The Biden-Harris Administration has announced dozens of executive actions to: keep especially dangerous weapons and repeat shooters off our streets; hold rogue gun dealers and gun traffickers accountable; provide law enforcement with the tools and resources they need to reduce gun violence; and address the root causes of gun violence. Most recently, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – a critical leader in work to reduce gun violence – proposed a rule to reduce the number of guns sold without background checks and keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
President Biden continues to call on Congress to take additional action, including by:
- Banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines;
- Requiring safe storage of firearms;
- Requiring background checks for all gun sales;
- Eliminating gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability; and
- Enacting his Safer America Plan, which would put more police officers on our streets for accountable, community policing and invest in gun violence prevention and intervention.