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Majority Leader Louis Greenwald Joins Gun Violence Advocates to Discuss Real Solutions for Our Communities

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) attended a roundtable discussion with Governor Murphy, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and gun violence prevention advocates on Tuesday to discuss strategies to reduce gun violence in New Jersey.

According to Giffords Law Center, each year more than 1,000 New Jersey residents are victims of gun violence. The majority of homicides (75%) in New Jersey are committed with a firearm and roughly a quarter of suicide deaths are a result of a firearm, according to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. The emotional trauma endured by gun violence victims and their families is enormous and lifelong health impairments and financial hardships are typically what is left behind. Often, direct, long-lasting damage is inflicted when a person witnesses or is exposed to an act of violence. Exposure to violence is shown to increase the risk for psychiatric, emotional, behavioral, and health problems. Exposure to violence has also been linked to increased instances of health issues such as asthma, heart disease, and low birth weight. One hospital program working with violence victims in Philadelphia found that 75% of its clients met the diagnostic criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Because of these impacts, Majority Leader Greenwald engaged in a broad discussion on how to reduce instances of gun violence in New Jersey communities. Included in the discussion was a package of bills that he introduced to expand and support evidence-based violence intervention programs in New Jersey hospitals and communities, which are designed to end the cycles of gun violence by providing victims and their families the resources they need to recover after experiencing a terrible tragedy.

“Gun violence hurts far too many New Jersey families and communities,” said Greenwald. “I appreciate the opportunity to engage in productive discussions with the Governor and other gun violence advocates so that we can take action to address this public health crisis and save lives.”

Other parties included in the roundtable discussion were: Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, Lt. Governor Oliver, NJ Attorney General Grewal, Trenton Police Department, The Gifford Foundation, Equal Justice USA, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Ceasefire NJ, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – NJ, and Everytown for Gun Safety.