Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, Vice-Chair of the House Gun-Violence Prevention Task Force, voted in support of a comprehensive public safety package, delivering new federal resources to build safer communities throughout Colorado's Second District. Congressman Neguse voted in support of all four of the bills included in the package: the Invest to Protect Act, the Mental Health Justice Act, the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, and the VICTIM Act.
"Today, I proudly voted to ensure that Colorado communities are safer for my constituents," said Congressman Neguse. "This critical funding will help ensure our law enforcement agencies have the resources, recruiting tools and training they need to keep their officers and our communities safe, provide critical resources to combat the gun violence epidemic, and more. Together, these four measures will save lives."
The public safety package consists of four bills:
Invest to Protect Act: funding Colorado police agencies through grants to retain and recruit officers, expand training programs, and more.
VICTIM Act: bolstering Colorado law enforcement agencies' capacity to investigate and close cases of violent crime through new funding to hire and train detectives to investigate violent crime, ensure victim services are funded, staffed, and trained to address the needs of survivors and family members, and acquire and upgrade investigative technology to process evidence.
Break the Cycle of Violence Act: building on the American Rescue Plan's life-saving investments in effective, evidence-based community violence prevention solutions -- helping community organizations and local governments hire violence intervention and prevention specialists.
Mental Health Justice Act: supporting funding for recruitment and retention of mental health professionals.
This legislation builds on Congressman Neguse's efforts to create safer communities, including through the landmark Bipartisan Safer Communities Act -- the most significant gun violence prevention legislation to be enacted in nearly three decades. Congressman Neguse has made tackling the gun violence epidemic an urgent priority for his office, pushing for measures to promote public safety, and keeping kids, families, and communities safe from the devastating incidents of gun violence. In April 2022, Neguse unveiled a legislative package to prevent mass shootings, expand worker safety, and increase mental health and trauma support for communities recovering from tragedy. The package -- which consists of the STOP Violence Act, Safe Workplaces Act, Help for Healing Communities Act, and the Prioritizing Resources for Victims of Firearm Violence Act -- enhances security measures and training protocols to reduce the threat of gun violence at schools, grocery stores, movie theaters, and other community gathering facilities, learn more here. The Congressman also sponsored the End Gun Violence Act, legislation prohibiting individuals with violent misdemeanors from purchasing guns, and the Secure Background Checks Act, which following a 2019 incident in his state, expands the necessary background check process to the federal level.
In 2021 and 2022, Neguse and Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) led a group of House Democrats in letters to President Biden requesting that he establish an Interagency Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention. Read more here. The letters also ask that the President appoint a National Director of Gun Violence Prevention to chair the Task Force -- ensuring a whole government approach to tackling the epidemic.