June 15, 2022

Law Enforcement Leader: Gun Violence is one of the Most Significant Threats Facing our Nation - and our Children

During hearing to examine the impact of gun violence on children, Judiciary Committee releases testimony from Chief Jeri Williams, President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA)

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee released Phoenix Police Department Chief Jeri Williams’ prepared testimony during today’s hearing entitled “Protecting America’s Children From Gun Violence.”  Williams is the President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA).  MCCA has adopted a Firearms Violence Policy that calls for legislative reforms including universal background checks, closing domestic violence loopholes in the background check system, supporting “red flag” laws, banning bump-stocks and high-capacity magazines, and reinstating the assault weapons ban.  Williams will discuss how gun safety reforms are a necessary component of any strategy to successfully reduce gun violence that harms children.

Key quotes as prepared:

“[F]rom 2019 to 2020, the relative increase in the rate of firearms-related deaths among children and adolescents was 29.5%, which is more than two times the general population’s relative increase.1 These statistics should trouble every American.”

“Nearly every major city in the United States is grappling with a rise in violent crime. This trend is driven, in part, by an increase in gun violence, evidenced by the steady rise in both homicides and aggravated assaults.”

“Youth in major cities, especially in communities of color, are growing up in communities consistently impacted by gun violence. These kids are seeing their family members, neighbors, and friends lose their lives to the scourge of gun violence every day. They are also seeing their peers commit violent acts involving firearms with greater regularity. No child should be afraid of getting hit by a stray bullet while walking through their neighborhood.”

“The ability of prohibited purchasers to utilize straw purchases to obtain firearms illegally is another loophole in the system that must be closed. Straw purchasers are responsible for putting many guns into prohibited purchasers’ hands. Convicted felons and other dangerous individuals should not be able to easily acquire a firearm by simply paying an intermediary.”

Full text of Chief Williams’ prepared remarks are available here 

Full hearing on the impact of gun violence on children can be viewed here.

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