Evans, Casey Push To Support Victims Of Gun Violence

March 3, 2021
Press Release
Legislation Would Help Victims Of Gun Violence Identify And Access Resources To Meet Their Needs

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative Dwight Evans (D-PA-03) are introducing the Resources for Victims of Gun Violence Act. This legislation would establish an interagency Advisory Council to gather and disseminate information about the resources, programs and benefits that can help victims of gun violence—including survivors and the families, classmates, coworkers and other associates of individuals affected by gun violence. More than 100 Americans die from gun violence each day and over 230 more are wounded.

“We can’t stop pushing for the common-sense measures that will help prevent gun violence from happening,” said Senator Casey. “But we must also acknowledge the reality of this public health epidemic and make sure that survivors, families, friends and caregivers have the support they need to recover from gun violence and manage their longer-term needs. This bill would connect gun violence victims with the resources, programs and benefits that can help them. Gun violence is a uniquely American problem and we must address the millions of Americans who have been affected by this issue and have struggled for too long.”

Congressman Evans said, “I have voted for and continue to support passing legislation to reduce gun violence, like universal background checks for gun buyers and closing the Charleston loophole. We must also help the victims and survivors— often they don’t know where to turn or what resources are available to them, which is why Senator Casey and I are reintroducing the Resources for Victims of Gun Violence Act.”

“Gun violence destroys lives,” said Aleida Garcia, based in Philadelphia, whose son, Alejandro Rojas Garcia, was shot and killed on January 24, 2015. “Often survivors of gun violence don't know where to turn for support. Senator Casey's bill would provide a bridge to resources for survivors, grieving families and communities on their long journey of healing.”

58 percent of American adults, including 68 percent of Black and Hispanic Americans, are survivors of gun violence, either experiencing gun violence themselves or caring for someone who has experienced gun violence in their lives. Victims of gun violence experience persistent mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress, depression, self-harm, anxiety and substance abuse. Further, this public health epidemic has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, with surging gun sales putting children, victims of domestic abuse and communities of color at an even greater risk of gun violence.

U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) cosponsored the legislation. The bill has 68 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill is supported by Everytown for Gun Safety; Brady: United Against Gun Violence; March for Our Lives; Ceasefire PA; Coalition to Stop Gun Violence; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV); Newtown Action Alliance; Junior Newtown Action Alliance; States United to Prevent Gun Violence; Survivors Empowered; Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence.

Read more about the Resources for Victims of Gun Violence Act here.