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Fact Sheet

Support Local Violence Prevention and Intervention Programs

A comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence must include support for evidence-based violence intervention programs that engage all community stakeholders.

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People attend a vigil and rally for a shooting victim in Brooklyn, New York, June 2013. (Getty/Spencer Platt)
People attend a vigil and rally for a shooting victim in Brooklyn, New York, June 2013. (Getty/Spencer Platt)

Although mass shootings draw the most attention, these incidents account for only a small fraction of the gun violence that occurs each year in the United States. Far more common are incidents of interpersonal violence that become fatal due to the easy availability of guns. The burden of this violence often falls disproportionately on urban communities and communities of color.1

Strengthening the nation’s gun laws is only one part of the solution; in order to reduce gun violence, it is also necessary to invest in evidence-based violence reduction strategies that engage all community stakeholders. Programmatic models such as Group Violence Intervention, Cure Violence, and Hospital-based Violence Intervention have proven to be successful at reducing violence in many communities.2

  • Project Longevity: From 2011 to 2016, in three Connecticut cities in which this Group Violence Intervention program operates, gun homicides fell by more than 50 percent.3
  • Richmond, California: A comprehensive strategy to address gun violence in Richmond by using elements of all three types of intervention programs resulted in a 71 percent reduction in gun violence leading to injury or death from 2007 to 2016.4


  1. PICO National Network and Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Healing Communities in Crisis: Lifesaving Solutions to the Urban Gun Violence Epidemic” (2017), available at https://www.piconetwork.org/community-tools/Healing-Communities-in-Crisis-4.pdf.
  2. PICO National Network, Community Justice Reform Coalition, and Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Investing in Intervention: The Critical Role of State-Level Support in Breaking the Cycle of Urban Gun Violence” (2017), available at http://lawcenter.giffords.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Investing-in-Intervention-12.18.17.pdf.
  3. Ibid.
  4. City of Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety, “2016 Highlights” (2016), available at https://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/41749.

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People protest gun violence in Washington, D.C.

Gun violence in the United States is a public health crisis.

It goes beyond the mass shootings that grab the nation’s attention. Every day, gun violence takes lives from communities all across the country in the form of suicides, unintentional shootings, and interpersonal conflicts that become fatal due to easy access to guns.

Yet this violence is not inevitable. In 2018, the Center for American Progress released a comprehensive analysis of actions that could be taken to reduce gun violence in America. There is no single, simple solution to reducing gun violence in this country. But these commonsense reforms offer a starting point.


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