LYNCHBURG, Va. – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that his proposed, two-year budget includes $27.4 million for gun violence prevention.
“No matter where you stand on gun availability or ownership, I know that everyone wants to see a reduction in gun violence,” said Northam.
He plans to create a data-driven approach by establishing Virginia’s Center for Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention.
The state agency would collect and analyze information on firearm violence, then report to localities and community-based organizations addressing the issue.
It would be based at the Department of Criminal Justice Services.
Northam made Friday’s announcement in Richmond alongside prevention advocates, including Lori Haas.
She’s with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and the mother of a survivor from the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.
“We need more than just legislation and laws. We need a public health approach to this. We need to let the data and research to guide us. We need community programs,” said Haas.
Haas calls gun violence an epidemic across the Commonwealth.
She says you can support the second amendment and support gun safety.
“We need to understand that regulating firearms doesn’t impede a law-abiding citizen from owning a firearm; but we have to understand that more regulation in necessary,” said Haas.
Northam says 1,000 Virginians die from gun violence each year, and he wants to put an end to it.
“No parent should have to bury their child!”