Legislative Effort Closes Critical Gap in Our Nation’s Fight to End Gun Violence
Washington, D.C. – Congressman DeSaulnier (CA-11) unveiled his multi-pronged “Not Here” initiative to help local communities implement successful evidence-based solutions to gun violence. Specifically, he introduced the Local Gun Violence Reduction Act (H.R. 9227), which would create a local gun violence prevention effort database at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in which state and local governments can enter information and data on policies implemented in their communities that have reduced gun violence for the purpose of sharing these solutions with other states and localities to end the public health crisis of gun violence nationwide. Currently, no such database exists at the federal level, leaving states and localities without an efficient, reliable means of identifying and implementing proven solutions.
To demonstrate its effectiveness, Congressman DeSaulnier compiled and organized successful gun violence prevention efforts in California’s 11th Congressional District in Contra Costa County, which he is proud to represent. This information was collected from local governments, including health services, police departments, and community-based organizations and serves as an example of the types of information to be included in a national database. While California had the 3rd highest rate of gun homicides in the country in 1993, thanks to the implementation of evidence-driven, science-based policies, the state has since become a national leader on gun safety and many local governments here in Contra Costa have gone above and beyond state law to protect our communities.
“This year, Congress passed the first significant federal gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years, but it is not enough to tackle the gun violence epidemic. Instead of letting Republican opposition in Congress halt all progress, places like California and Contra Costa County have stepped up and made great strides in reducing gun violence. In California, you are 25% less likely to die in a mass shooting and, while I am proud of the work our state and community has done to make this so, we must share the keys to our progress to ensure all Americans are safe from gun violence regardless of the state in which they happen to live,” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “The database created under my “Not Here” initiative gives us the means to do just that and to start to end the nationwide epidemic of gun violence.”
“Gun violence is a public health crisis that requires a whole of government approach—including state and local governments—to take initiative and pass gun safety laws. And as the Giffords Law Center Gun Law Scorecard makes clear, states with strong gun laws have lower rates of gun violence. We thank Congressman DeSaulnier for lifting up the efforts of state and local governments to combat gun violence,” said Allison Anderman, Senior Counsel and Director of Local Policy at Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
“Congressman DeSaulnier understands that ending our gun violence epidemic requires a holistic approach and action from every level of government,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action and resident of California’s 11th Congressional District. “As Everytown’s Gun Law Rankings clearly show: states like California which have the strongest gun laws in the country have lower rates of gun death, which is why I’ve been proud to work with Congressman DeSaulnier along with Moms Demand Action volunteers, community partners and local officials to continue building on this progress.”
“I support Congressman DeSaulnier’s “Not Here” initiative because I believe in responsible gun ownership AND in keeping weapons out of the hands of those who may harm themselves or others. Thank you to Congressman DeSaulnier for continuing his work to reduce or eliminate gun violence. By bringing this initiative forward we will help local governments, including law enforcement, find tools and resources to reduce or eliminate gun violence in our communities,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis.
“Contra Costa County has a long history of innovative health and public safety initiatives to prevent gun violence. We applaud Congressman DeSaulnier’s efforts to create a national database of best practices by local government,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia. “This database will allow us to share our initiatives with others and for our County to learn from other successful strategies. The result will be safer communities.”
“Gun violence has emerged as the bane of educational institutions, cities, and counties across the State of California. In Contra Costa County, we have sought to reduce gun violence through a number of initiatives in collaboration with local government and our civil society partners. As a firsthand witness of the strides we’ve made in curtailing gun violence, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier is uniquely positioned to advance the effort at reducing gun violence on a national scale. The “Not Here” initiative, which supports the creation of a national database with data added by local communities, is an important step in the right direction as we seek to create safter communities. I fully support and endorse this effort,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover.
“I strongly support Congressman DeSaulnier’s “Not Here” initiative and legislation for a database on how to reduce gun violence,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff. “My brother was murdered in 2018 in a senseless act of gun violence, and this effort could well avert another family from having to endure the pain and grief of losing a loved one. We must find creative ways to address the proliferation of guns in our communities. I commend Congressman DeSaulnier for his leadership on this issue and thank him for taking on one of the most tragic scourges of our time.”
“Richmond has been a pioneer in starting programs like the Office of Neighborhood Safety, and we believe this, our nationally acclaimed community policing model, and other youth programs (e.g., Richmond Police Athletic League) have had a significant impact on reducing gun violence in our community. Since 2009, our city has seen a significant and consistent reduction in homicides, however, we know there is still much more work that we all must do to prevent gun-related violence and address the impact it has on our communities. Congressman DeSaulnier’s ‘Not Here’ initiative will promote collaboration and the sharing of successful approaches as well as lessons learned from gun violence prevention programs across this country. Collectively, these efforts will result in safer communities for all,” said Richmond Mayor and Chair of the Contra Costa County Mayors Conference Tom Butt.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that more Americans died of gun-related injuries in 2020 than any other year on record. Those deaths are preventable,” said Anna Roth, director of Contra Costa Health. “As a public health system with a mission to improve the health of all people, we can’t ignore the impact violence has on our communities. Congressman DeSaulnier’s ‘Not Here’ initiative will provide an important platform to highlight successful local programs so they can be replicated across the country. That kind of sharing can change the future for communities disproportionately affected by violent crime.”
“Contra Costa Health has a long history of working to reduce gun violence in our county,” said Hisham Alibob, violence prevention program manager with Contra Costa Health. “This initiative will provide a needed platform for sharing resources, successes, and lessons learned from across the country. We have experience to share, and look forward to learning from our colleagues, about how to reduce the senseless violence we too often see. This will be an important tool for all of us and we thank Congressman DeSaulnier for his leadership.”
“Congressman DeSaulnier’s “Not Here” legislation provides a way for communities across the nation to help each other combat the scourge of gun violence that plagues this nation,” said Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey. “This database will allow schools and their communities to discover new ways to reduce gun violence. Congressman DeSaulnier’s legislation supports Contra Costa County and communities across the nation as we continue to search for solutions to this crisis.”
“As this world continues to grapple with the pandemic of COVID-19, communities across America continue to fight the endemic of gun violence. Like any virus, a vaccine is your greatest chance to beat it. Gun violence intervention and interruption from credible messengers is that vaccine, and the more it is spread, the more successful it is. I am grateful to Congressman DeSaulnier for proposing this bill to bring this important matter to the Public Health spectrum and hope it encourages many communities to begin to look at gun violence for what it is. A public health crisis,” said Sam Vaughn, Deputy Director, City of Richmond’s Office of Neighborhood Safety.
Also part of “Not Here” is the Congressman’s Gun Safety Board and Research Act (H.R. 5273), a bill he introduced to establish a board of experts at the Department of Health and Human Services responsible for conducting research, evaluating federal and state policy proposals, and recommending best practices for reducing firearm deaths. Taken together, these two bills and the blueprint of the work being done in CA-11 would help to address gun violence as the public health crisis it is.
Congressman DeSaulnier is a longtime advocate for gun violence prevention and a proud recipient of an “F” rating from the NRA. He has authored several bills to reduce gun thefts and increase community safety. He is also a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.