Navigation
  •  
A1F

Billions in Biden’s Build Back Better Act could go to gun control efforts

Row of handguns. (US Coast Guard Academy/Released)
November 05, 2021

Billions from President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better Act” could be used to fund gun control nationwide.

Buried inside H.R. 5376 in Section 61001 is “Funding for Community-based Violence Intervention Initiatives,” which provides $2.5 billion “to support evidence-informed intervention strategies to reduce community violence.”

According to the bill, the Attorney General, “acting through the Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs, the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and the  Director of the Office on Violence Against Women,” is directed to use the billions in funding “to award competitive grants or contracts to units of local government, States, Indian Tribes, nonprofit community-based organizations, victim services providers, or other entities as determined by the Attorney General, to support evidence-informed intervention strategies to reduce community violence.”

The funding will also be used to support training, research and data collection on efforts to “effectively reduce community violence and ensure public safety,” as well as support research and data collection on “the differing impact of community violence on demographic categories.”

During the House Judiciary Committee markup of the budget proposal, GOP Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky recognized that funding in the bill could be used to support gun control efforts nationwide. In response, Massie introduced an amendment to prohibit expenditures relating to Second Amendment rights. However, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee shot down Massie’s amendment in a vote of 25-18.

“PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN EXPENDITURES.—No amounts made available under this subtitle may be used in any manner that results in the denial, without due process, of an individual’s exercise of any right under the Second Amendment to the Constitution,” the proposed amendment stated.

Massie’s amendment is a nod to “extreme risk protection” measures, also known as “red flag” gun confiscation laws, which are often included in “gun violence prevention” gun control efforts.

While the language in the legislation is vague, community violence intervention (CVI) is a phrase that was first coined by gun control activists, according to Politico. It grew in popularity after it was adopted by Gabby Giffords, a former Congresswoman and co-founder of the gun control advocacy organization “Giffords.”

Just last week, Giffords – along with the LA Rams – hosted a roundtable discussion with CVI workers in Los Angeles to promote her gun-control “mission.”

“I’ve watched gun violence destroy too many lives,” Giffords said during the CVI roundtable. “After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I said, ‘enough is enough’ and I founded a group called Giffords. We are on a mission to end gun violence.”

In its comprehensive description of CVI, the Giffords website explained how the programs fund Violence Interrupters (VI) who directly address gun violence in the community. In one case, a VI traded cash for a gun belonging to an individual who was preparing to rob people at gunpoint. The VI then turned the gun into the local police department.

Everytown for Gun Safety, another gun-control advocacy group, also uses the vague language found in Biden’s Build Back Better Act.

The group’s website praises “community-based violence intervention” as programs that “apply a localized approach to gun violence prevention.”

“Common sense gun laws like background checks for all gun sales play a critical role in ensuring public safety across the country by systematically keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” the website adds.