SPRINGFIELD – More communities would be able to address the problem of gun violence under State Senator Robert Peters’ (D-Chicago) measure to expand the number of communities that are eligible for gun violence prevention grant money and to make it easier to receive technical and training services under the Reimagine Public Safety Act.

“We should address the problem of gun violence in Illinois by supporting affected communities directly, not punish them,” Peters said. “True public safety belongs to the people, and it demands that we address the underlying causes of violence at the grassroots level.”

House Bill 2791 would increase the number of communities that can receive grant money for gun violence prevention, based on population size, under the recently enacted Reimagine Public Safety Act. The legislation would also allow for five more communities to be eligible statewide and would allow organizations to apply directly for training and technical assistance from contractors.

Peters championed the Reimagine Public Safety Act to address gun violence in Illinois by working with communities most affected by violence. The act was originally signed into law in June of 2021 and created the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention to issue grants and provide support to violence prevention organizations in communities affected by gun violence.

Many Illinois communities that have been impacted by an increase in gun violence are also communities that have access to the fewest resources necessary to address the issue.

“A rise in gun violence is often been reinforced by policies that result in a disproportionately negative impact on Black and Brown communities,” Peters said. “The way we can reduce gun violence is to work hand-in-hand with the communities involved, intervening with at risk youth, supporting survivors and working from the bottom-up rather than the top-down.”

The measure passed the Senate Tuesday with no opposition and now heads to the House for final approval.

Category: Press Releases

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