In September 2023, President Biden established the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris. President Biden tasked the office with four key responsibilities, including enhancing the federal government’s partnerships with cities and states to help them advance their own efforts to reduce gun violence.

On Tuesday, the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs convened over 150 state legislators, advocates, and staff to discuss progress and build momentum following the release of the White House Safer States Agenda at the December convening of state legislators. At the initial convening, Vice President Kamala Harris called on legislators to continue their efforts heading into the 2024 legislative session. This follow-up conversation highlighted early successes and opportunities for the Administration to support states in their ongoing commitment to building safer communities.

Since December, state legislators in at least 27 states across the country have introduced legislation advancing the Safer States Agenda, including legislation that would establish state offices of gun violence prevention, reinforce responsible gun ownership, and establish industry accountability, among other safety measures. Yesterday, participants heard from six state leaders who are championing specific state legislative proposals:

  • California State Senator Anthony Portantino on strengthening safe firearm storage laws.
  • Delaware State Representative Cynthia Romer on requiring permits to purchase firearms.
  • Pennsylvania State Representative Ben Sanchez on banning assault weapons.
  • Virginia State Senator Jennifer Carroll Foy on holding the gun industry accountability.
  • Washington State Representative Liz Berry on efforts to address lost and stolen firearms.
  • Executive Director of the Maryland Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services Dorothy Lennig on Governor Moore’s proposals to establish a statewide Center for Firearm Violence Prevention and Intervention, and modernize Maryland’s victims’ compensation program.

The leadership of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention thanked legislators for their commitment and partnership, and advocates for the vital role they plan in advancing state legislation.


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