Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords joins California lawmakers to launch new gun safety initiative


WASHINGTON, DC — Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of the gun violence prevention organization Giffords, visited California’s Capitol recently and joined lawmakers for the launch of a new initiative to take bold action on gun safety.

In meetings with Gov. Gavin Newsom, First Partner Jennifer Newsom, and other legislative champions, Giffords urged California to continue to build on its leadership in addressing the gun violence crisis and increase its investment in CalVIP — the California Violence Intervention and Prevention grant program — which funds community-driven violence intervention strategies that work to interrupt cycles of violence and retaliation. During her visit, lawmakers also announced the formation of a Gun Violence Prevention Working Group.

“Leaders in California have never backed down from fighting to save lives from gun violence,” said f Giffords. “They understand this is a public safety threat that touches every community and leads to tragedy every single day. California also knows about innovation and has applied that spirit to addressing the impact of the gun violence crisis. The bold steps taken today will show the rest of the country what can be accomplished when you make a commitment to keeping your state safe. I look forward to continuing our work here and commend the legislature for creating the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group. Together we can break the violence that has scarred too many and make California safer.”

Giffords attended a roundtable discussion with California lawmakers about new and innovative policy ideas to save lives from gun violence and spoke at a press conference to commend legislators who have come together to form a Gun Violence Prevention Working Group to develop and coordinate gun safety legislation.

As part of her push for increased funding for the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) grant program Giffords sat down with the Governor and First Partner, Speaker Anthony Rendon, and Senate President Toni Atkins.

Giffords Law Center organized a broad coalition of organizations to create and advocate for the CalVIP program, which has made critical investments in community-driven efforts to intervene and prevent gun violence before it occurs. But in recent years the program has lagged in funding. States that have had the most success in reducing violence in recent years, like New York and Massachusetts, spend four to 12 times as much per capita on similar violence prevention programs. Those states’ rates of gun violence rates have fallen substantially in recent years, especially among younger residents.

Giffords urged lawmakers in California to learn from these states’ best practices and “show the nation what is possible when leaders come together to make violence prevention a fundamental priority.”