By Stacy M. Brown
In a move to combat the rising issue of gun violence, Vice President Kamala Harris is leading the Biden-Harris Administration’s Safer States Initiative. The White House said the initiative aims to provide states with essential tools and support to effectively reduce gun violence and save lives, building upon President Biden’s commitment to addressing this critical issue.
The White House established the Office of Gun Violence Prevention in September 2023, under the direction of Vice President Harris, focusing on strengthening federal partnerships with cities and states to support their efforts to reduce gun violence.
To kickstart this initiative, administration officials have unveiled the comprehensive Biden-Harris Safer States Agenda, outlining key actions for states to adopt. These include encouraging states to establish dedicated offices for gun violence prevention, invest in evidence-informed solutions, prioritize support for survivors and victims, reinforce responsible gun ownership, advocate for strengthened background checks, and hold the gun industry accountable.
To actively support states in implementing these agenda items, officials said the Justice Department is introducing two executive actions:
• Safe Storage Model Legislation: Emphasizing the role of safe storage in reducing incidents such as school shootings, suicides, accidental shootings, and thefts. The model legislation offers a framework for states to require secure storage of firearms, including in vehicles, with people responsible for injuries caused by unsecured firearms.
• Lost and Stolen Firearms Reporting Model Legislation: The proposed law shows how states can make sure that lost or stolen guns are reported quickly to the police to combat gun trafficking.
“In the months ahead, the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention will continue to proactively work with states to make sure they have additional resources and support needed to advance these agenda items,” administration officials wrote in a fact sheet.