Washington, D.C. — At a White House convening today, President Joe Biden announced that a historic $10 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds have been committed to improving public safety. The president also called on state and local leaders to dedicate additional ARP funding toward efforts to address violent crime. In response, Nicole Lee Ndumele, senior vice president of Rights and Justice at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
All Americans deserve to feel safe in their communities. More guns on our streets leads to more violence, and President Biden is giving communities the resources they need to stop violent crime. By funding programs that address the root causes of gun violence—from mental health and substance-use disorder services to crisis responders and violence interrupters—President Biden has demonstrated that stopping violent crime and funding comprehensive solutions to public safety are a top priority for his administration. As the U.S. Department of the Treasury prepares to release a second portion of ARP funds, it is critical that state and local leaders use these dollars to stem rising gun violence and address the root causes of crime. We encourage state and local leaders to dedicate ARP funding to neighborhoods most harmed by gun violence, both through community-driven interventions to stop cycles of violence now and investing in the supports that we know prevent crime before it happens.
We also need Congress to pass common-sense laws to address the spread of illegal firearms, including requiring background checks for all gun sales and regulating ghost guns. Unfortunately, many conservative members of Congress have consistently opposed such measures, and some conservative governors and legislatures have made it easier for people who commit crimes to access deadly firearms. Now is the time for Congress to act to make our communities safe.
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