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May 09, 2018

A new grant program will add $1.5 million to programs reducing gun violence

Applications for the grants are open now

The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and Gov. Tom Wolf announced this week a $1.5 million statewide grant program to help reduce the threat of gun violence in Pennsylvania.

The grants, under the 2018 Gun Violence Reduction Initiative, are open to all municipalities in the state including townships, boroughs and cities. The initiative is aiming to support strategies already in place that will combat gun violence in communities.

“While we know these funds aren't enough, we do know that this is a start, and we believe that our collective will can make a positive impact,” said PLBC Chair Jordan Harris. “This is an all-hands-on-deck effort to heal the pain that gun violence has caused in our Commonwealth.”

Since 2014 the Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Report statistics have shown an increase in assaults by firearm in the state. And in 2016 alone there were 5,103 assaults by firearm, according to the grant program's guidelines.

The House PA SAFE Caucus released a statement on Wednesday following the announcement, saying the initiative proves state legislators are tuned in to the conversation surrounding gun violence.

“I am grateful for the PA Legislative Black Caucus and the governor’s initiative and leadership to combat gun violence,” said PA SAFE Co-Chair Madeleine Dean. “These grant opportunities will help identify programs that work and can be replicated statewide. PA SAFE looks forward to working with our colleagues, the governor and municipalities to help stop the cycle of violence.”

The first due date for the grants is June 22. Applicants will be chosen in early July.