On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced that the Justice Department will give $231 million to states for gun violence protection, including efforts to strengthen red flag programs. The funding is intended to create laws in which allow family members, schools, law enforcement and health care providers to petition a court to temporarily prevent a person from accessing firearms. If the person is deemed to others then they would be banned from purchasing firearms. “These awards will support the kinds of crisis intervention programs that we know save lives and help protect children, families, and communities across the country from senseless acts of gun violence,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said.
In a statement on Tuesday, Biden said he has long championed red flag laws.
“Red flag laws, however, only save lives if community members effectively use this tool. Today’s announcement gives states funding to educate the public about extreme risk protection orders and train law enforcement and other officials regarding this intervention,” he added.
“I once again call on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets. We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to continue to act,” Biden said.
The money will go to states, territories and Washington D.C. and is part of a gun safety bill President Biden signed in June. It allocated $750 million for the creation of red-flag laws and other programs.
Tuesday’s announcement came five years to the day a gunman killed 14 students and three educators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It came a day after a gunman killed three people and injured five others at Michigan State University before taking his own life.