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Orlando Congressman, Mayor, Advocates Push Office of Gun Violence Prevention

Congressman Maxwell Alejandro Frost joined Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and local gun violence prevention advocates to support Rep. Frost’s bill to create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the wake of shootings that have devastated communities from Orlando to Louisville to Nashville.

Office of Gun Violence PreventionRep. Frost, who was joined by State Attorney Monique Worrell, Orange County Commissioner Mike Scott, and representatives from Moms Demand Action and March for Our Lives UCF, also stood alongside Brandon Wolf, Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor, and the family of T’yonna Major, the 9-year victim of the Pine Hills shooting earlier this year.

Congressman Frost’s bill is bicameral legislation that would establish an Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the U.S. Department of Justice and would bring together those most impacted by gun violence with leaders across federal agencies to advance policy, collect and report data, expand state and local outreach, and maximize existing programs and services related to preventing gun violence.

“Despite our best efforts, Orlando knows the pain of gun violence all too well. Just last month, we watched in horror as someone with a gun took the lives of three innocent people. And even this past weekend, our communities were hit with two tragic shootings. And then once again this morning in Kentucky. There’s not just one bill that will solve this problem. We need every possible solution available to stop this epidemic,” said Congressman Maxwell Frost, a Democrat. “My bill to create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention takes a critical first step in establishing gun violence prevention as an important priority for the federal government. If this legislation can save even a single life, it’s worth it. The time for action is now.”

Representative Frost and Senator Chris Murphy, along with Senator Richard Blumenthal, introduced bicameral legislation to establish an Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Specifically, the newly created Office of Gun Violence Prevention would:

  1. Convene an Advisory Council of senior DOJ officials, survivors, community violence intervention providers, public health officials, medical professionals who provide trauma care, mental health clinicians, state and local public health department officials, teachers, members of student groups, and veterans.
  2. Coordinate gun violence prevention efforts across federal agencies.
  3. Identify gaps in data needed for gun violence prevention research, policy development, and strategy implementation, and develop a plan to collect and analyze the data.
  4. Make policy recommendations.
  5. Educate the general public about federal laws, regulations, and available grant programs, including awareness campaigns directed at firearm owners, parents and legal guardians of minors, and gun violence prevention professionals, that include education related to safe storage of firearms and suicide prevention.
  6. Optimize the administration of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
  7. Annually report information to Congress on gun violence in the United States, recommendations for policy initiatives to reduce gun violence, and a description of the Director’s activities.

Under Mayor Dyer, Orlando has suffered from continuing crime and violence which is why the city launched a Community Violence Intervention program to try and help young residents pivot away from violence. Dyer has said that the city does “recognize that law enforcement isn’t the only solution,” but what the mayor has offered is not working in Central Florida’s tourist center. The Democratic Mayor fully supports creating an Office of Gun Violence Prevention.

“Public safety is my top priority and we should never accept gun violence as our country’s new normal,” said Orlando Mayor Dyer. “Here in Orlando, we’ve been investing in initiatives that focus on crime prevention among our youth for decades and have partnered with community groups, businesses and faith leaders on youth employment initiatives, mentoring programs and our Kidz Zones. Preventing acts of gun violence should be a priority for Congress and that’s why we support the creation of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention.”

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