On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced additional actions to reduce gun crime and make communities safer.
“The plan builds on the steps President Biden has taken since the beginning of his Administration to stop the flow of guns being used in crimes, bolster federal, state, and local law enforcement, invest in community-based programs that prevent, interrupt, and reduce violence, expand opportunity, lower recidivism, and increase funding for community policing,” a White House release said.
The Biden administration wants Congress to include a $300 million increase in a Justice Department grant program that goes to hire community police officers, and $200 million for local gun violence prevention programs in the 2022 fiscal year spending bill.
“The answer is not to defund the police; it’s to give you the tools, the training, the funding to be partners, to be protectors,” Biden said during a New York City visit with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, and United States Attorney General Merrick Garland, at which he announced his proposals.
President Biden: "Mayor Adams, you and I agree – the answer is not to abandon our streets. […] The answer is not to defund the police – it's to give you the tools, the training, the funding to be partners, to be protectors." https://t.co/lPkTi17HIn pic.twitter.com/4NL4dMgEnO
— The Hill (@thehill) February 4, 2022
The New York visit and announcement comes about two weeks after two NYPD officers, Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, were shot and killed by a man who illegally had a gun that was allegedly brought from out of state.
Under the proposal, the U.S. Department of Justice will work with state and local law enforcement to “address the most significant drivers of violence” in each town and municipality.
The agency will also strengthen its multi-state task forces that are tasked with targeting the illegal flow of guns from the South, which has fewer restrictions on gun sales, to locations in the North.
The task forces launched last summer in cities such as New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago and have taken over 3,100 illegal guns off the streets, the White House said.