WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Jamie Raskin, David Trone, and Glenn Ivey (all D-Md.) today announced $5,124,825 in federal funding from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to bolster gun violence prevention programs across the state.

This funding for the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services (GOCPYVS) comes from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program’s Crisis Intervention Program and will be used to support the development and implementation of evidence-based violence prevention and intervention programs, including extreme risk protective order programs, specialized crisis intervention court programs, behavioral health violence deflection programs, and coordinated efforts with law enforcement to safely secure, track and return relinquished guns.

“Gun violence has taken a devastating toll on our communities in Maryland and across the country. This funding makes critical investments in resources and programs to pave the way for earlier intervention and better targeting of the complex factors that lead to gun violence,” the lawmakers said. “We worked to pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a significant step forward in addressing gun violence, and by providing this funding, it will strengthen Maryland’s capacity to prevent these tragedies and end the cycle of violence. We will continue to secure federal resources to protect communities in Maryland and across our country.”

The Edward Byrne Memorial JAG Program allows states and units of local government, including tribes, to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime based on their own state, local needs and conditions. Grant funds can be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support and information systems for criminal justice.

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a landmark piece of legislation that was passed in June 2022. Its goal is to prevent gun violence by taking commonsense steps to strengthen gun safety measures and fund school and community programs, mental health resources and law enforcement trainings.