FIVE WAYS TO ENHANCE THE GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION STRATEGY IN YOUR CITY
Cities that have sustained success preventing gun violence have deployed multi-disciplinary, communityinvolved approaches to response and prevention. Here are five steps that you can take to enhance your city’s gun violence prevention (GVP) strategy:
- Promote, pass, and implement common sense gun laws at every level of government.
- Execute both long-term and immediate actions to address gun violence where it occurs.
A successful mayoral GVP strategy will include long-term prevention, immediate intervention practices, and comprehensive victim and re-entry services. Long-term efforts include crime prevention by environmental design – e.g., lead abatement, enhanced street lighting, blightelimination, and cleaning and greening – and programs that enhance opportunities for youth. Violence interruption and focused-deterrence are good examples of effective interventions that can stem violence immediately before it happens. Hospital-based violence interventions and robust reentry programming are good investments to break the cyclical nature of violence.
- Centralize firearms technology and data in a coordinated interdiction strategy.
Increasingly, cities are tracing and running ballistics analysis on all recovered guns, deploying gunshot detection to quickly respond to shooting incidents, and using network analysis to locate persons at high-risk of engaging in gun violence. If you have these practices in place, consider centralizing all these firearms data points to inform one cohesive strategy to crack down on illegal guns and firearms trafficking. Many jurisdictions are adopting the Crime Gun Intelligence Center model, an interagency collaborative effort to coordinate the best available resources to better understand and swiftly respond to gun crimes.
- Tap into funding to support services for gun violence survivors.
Victim services can help address the well-documented risks for re-victimization or retaliation after gun violence occurs. Many cities fund and expand victims’ services through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). As Mayor, you are uniquely suited to advocate for the needs of gun violence survivors in your City. Coordinate local victim service providers and work with your state VOCA administrators to ensure a variety of accessible, trauma-informed victim services are available to residents in your city.
- Leverage business and municipal purchasing power in the fight to end gun violence.
Mayors can work with local businesses in reducing neighborhood gun violence by encouraging inkind contributions to community-based GVP practices, including participation in job readiness programs or donating space or equipment for after-school mentoring or sports programs. Moreover, you can encourage businesses to implement gun sense policies, including by using municipal purchasing, investing, and bond-issuing power to incentivize businesses large and small to adopt reforms that keep their customers – and your City – safer.
Work with your state and federal representatives to introduce and support sensible gun laws such as requiring background checks on all gun sales, red flag laws, domestic violence relinquishment laws, and funding bills that provide financial support for community-based violence prevention programs. Use your office to ensure these laws are faithfully implemented. And prevent dangerous bills from passing, such as preemption, stand your ground, guns in schools, concealed carry reciprocity, and permitless carry.
Everytown & Mayors Against Illegal Guns can work with you to further develop these ideas to your city. Contact us at [email protected] to learn how we can help you prevent gun violence.
Read our report: Strategies for Reducing Gun Violence in American Cities