Commerce applauds creation of White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention

Washington Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention applauds creation of White House Office of Firearm Violence Prevention.

OLYMPIA, WA — Washington’s Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention (OFSVP) released statements today following yesterday’s announcement of the first-ever White House Office of Firearm Violence Prevention, led by Vice president Kamala Harris.

“We look forward to working with this new federal office to tackle this persistent health and safety threat that results in hundreds of avoidable deaths and injuries every year in our state,” said Washington Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention Executive Director, Kate Kelly.

“Safe communities are strong communities. We commend the Biden-Harris administration for taking this important step to create an office dedicated to ensuring continued federal support for firearm violence data collection and research and funding for violence reduction efforts,” Washington State Department of Commerce Director Mike Fong.

Launched in 2021 and housed in the Department of Commerce, the Washington Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention is dedicated to supporting violence reduction policies, strategies and programs in communities across Washington state. To do this, the OFSVP works hand-in-hand with policymakers, public health officials, government entities, law enforcement agencies, researchers, community organizations and individual community members.

OFSVP recently launched a data dashboard breaking down firearm-related fatal and non-fatal incidents in Washington based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Washington Department of Health.

The mission of OFSVP touches on all types of firearm violence – suicide, domestic violence and community gun violence. Suicide continues to be the most common form of death from firearms, accounting for almost 2,000 deaths in Washington between 2019 and 2021. See OFSVP Data Dashboard. And, non-fatal firearms injuries accounted for almost 1,500 hospitalizations in the state between 2018 and 2020. See OFSVP Data Dashboard. Community gun violence – defined as potentially lethal interpersonal violence on the street – requires different policies and strategies than other forms of gun violence and is the subject of the OFSVP grant program and much of the efforts of the office. Read more in the 2021 OSFVP report to the Washington Legislature.

“Firearm violence is a national problem, and there is significant benefit in forming national alliances. The creation of this White House office will allow us to do just that,” Kelly said. “We are excited to work with leaders from this new office to learn about other programs, share best practices, challenges and opportunities, and leverage our collective voice.”

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