Washington, DC — Today, Vice President Kamala Harris announced the launch of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Safer States Initiative to provide states with federal resources aimed at ending gun violence. As part of today’s launch, Rep. Lucy McBath addressed a gathering of state elected officials from across the country at the White House to speak to her work in Congress and how the federal government is working to save lives.

“When my son Jordan was murdered 11 years ago, I harnessed my grief and pleaded with legislators to act,” McBath said. “I came to Congress as a champion for gun violence prevention. To be able to speak before this gathering of state legislators at the White House as the mother of Jordan Davis and a United States Congresswoman is humbling. I am extraordinarily grateful to President Biden and Vice President Harris for their leadership in creating the Office of Gun Violence Prevention and for supporting partnerships with state leaders to ensure that every government leader plays a role in enacting common-sense solutions.”

The Biden-Harris Safer States Agenda outlines key actions recommended to state governments, including:

  • Establishing a State Office of Gun Violence Prevention; 
  • Investing in evidence-informed solutions to prevent and respond to gun violence, including community violence interventions, Crime Gun Intelligence Centers, and implementation of Extreme Risk Protection Orders; 
  • Strengthening support for survivors and victims of gun violence; 
  • Reinforcing responsible gun ownership, including by requiring safe storage of firearms and reporting of lost and stolen firearms; 
  • Strengthening gun background checks, including by enacting universal background checks legislation and removing barriers to completing enhanced background checks; and 
  • Holding the gun industry accountable, including by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and enacting firearm-specific liability laws to ensure that victims of gun violence have their day in court.

In addition, the Justice Department is announcing two new executive actions to reduce gun violence.

  • Safe Storage Model Legislation. Safe storage saves lives. It is one tool in the toolkit to reduce school shootings, because we know that most often those students who carry out K-12 school shootings are using firearms they obtain from the home of a friend or family member. It is also a critical strategy to reduce suicide by firearms, accidental shootings, and the theft of firearms. The Department of Justice’s model legislation details how states can require the safe storage of firearms, including in vehicles, and hold individuals liable for harm caused by unsecured firearms.
  • Lost and Stolen Firearms Reporting Model Legislation. Reporting of lost and stolen firearms allows law enforcement to investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking. The Department of Justice’s model legislation provides states with a framework for requiring that a person promptly report the loss or theft to law enforcement.  

The first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention was established by President Biden in September of this year and is being overseen by Vice President Harris. In September, McBath addressed the nation from the White House Press Briefing Room to speak to the significance of the federal government’s role in reducing gun violence in America.