Statement from Prosecutors Against Gun Violence Co-Chairs on President Biden’s Historic Executive Actions to Promote Gun Safety in America

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April 8, 2021

Rob Wilcox (LA),
Joan Vollero (NY),

Statement from Prosecutors Against Gun Violence Co-Chairs on President Biden’s Historic Executive Actions to Promote Gun Safety in America

Announcement Closely Follows Virtual Summit on “Preventing the Flow of Crime Guns into Impacted Communities,” Presented by Brady

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, co-chairs of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, today released the following joint statement on President Biden’s historic executive actions to eliminate ghost guns and reduce gun violence and gun trafficking:

“On behalf of prosecutors across the nation, we applaud President Biden’s actions today to help stem the rising tide of gun violence. The President’s proposed rule on ghost guns is particularly promising, as those untraceable weapons emerge as weapons of choice for criminals. 

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has not had a confirmed director since 2015. Today’s announcement by the Biden-Harris Administration that it will nominate David Chipman to serve as ATF’s next Director is a welcome step. Chipman is a recognized authority and has addressed PAGV members on previous occasions, and we wholeheartedly support his nomination to this important role.”

“Even as the President unveiled his actions, today we witnessed yet more deadly carnage, this time in South Carolina. We hope and expect President Biden’s announcement is just the beginning, and that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle join him in standing up for the commonsense gun safety reforms that vast majorities of Americans demand. Senators will soon have an opportunity to do just that when they consider universal background checks. Prosecutors Against Gun Violence stands ready to do all we can to see that universal background checks and other key measures to reduce the violence plaguing our country become reality.”

Yesterday, nearly 80 prosecuting attorneys convened for a webinar entitled “Preventing the Flow of Crime Guns into Impacted Communities: A Prosecutor’s Role.” It can be viewed here. Despite the fact that 5 percent of gun dealers are responsible for 90 percent of crime guns, most efforts to prevent gun violence in impacted communities solely focus on addressing the demand for firearms. Experts at Brady explained how prosecutors have a unique and vital role in preventing gun violence, and can increase their impact by contributing to supply-side strategies that seek to hold accountable the industry and dealers who contribute to and profit from gun violence in U.S. cities. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, a longstanding PAGV member, served as a panelist and spoke about her office’s landmark report covering six years of data on gun use, sales, possession, and theft, along with detailed statistics on firearm-related crimes.

PAGV is an independent coalition of 46 prosecutors serving over 60 million Americans in 24 states across the country working toward solutions to end gun violence. The group brings together prosecutors to discuss policies, legislation, and strategies to help prevent and confront gun violence in their jurisdictions. Since 2014, PAGV has held more than a dozen national forums on a range of topics, from gun crimes committed in the home, to safe storage, to illegal firearms trafficking, to mass shootings. PAGV has issued a nationwide blueprint on removing guns from domestic abusers and a resource guide on preventing mass shootings and prosecuting mass shooters. The organization has also filed amicus briefs in several important cases, including those pertaining to ghost guns and gun licensing.