Higgins Speaks in Support of American Rescue Plan funding to Prevent & Reduce Gun Violence in Buffalo
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke on the House floor in support of efforts and organizations in Western New York that work to prevent and reduce gun violence in the region.
Advocating for the use of $5 million in American Rescue Plan funding designated to the City of Buffalo to support community groups that work to prevent and reduce gun violence, Higgins said, “This funding will support trusted messengers, good messengers, credible messengers, a coalition of peace-keeping organizations who will work on our streets to stop violence before it occurs. Congress passed the American Rescue Plan to deliver relief to communities ravaged by the pandemic. Now, our communities are facing a spike in violence that began during the pandemic. They need help, and they need help now.”
Higgins, a member of the House of Representatives Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, participated in a Task Force Briefing with members of several national organizations discussing the importance of Community Violence Intervention strategies to prevent gun violence from ever occurring. In this meeting, national advocates, included representatives from the Community Justice Action Fund and Life Camp, iterated that Buffalo is home to many innovative community groups ready and able to receive funding to prevent gun violence.
Last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Buffalo saw a surge of deadly shootings, resulting in a 90 percent increase in gun violence with a total of 355 victims. This year already 46 people have lost their lives. In response to the spike, earlier this month Higgins, joined by city and community leaders, announced the use of $5 million in American Rescue Plan funding to address the rising number of deadly shootings in city neighborhoods.
Higgins has long supported commonsense gun safety legislation which would complement this effort such as repealing the Tiahrt Amendment, which prevents the public from accessing ATF trace data for research purposes, and authorizing the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study the root causes of gun violence in the United States.