Building for us

Policy Agenda

Community Justice Action Fund’s comprehensive, holistic, and grassroots policy framework is driven by communities directly impacted by violence.


 
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CJAF's comprehensive, holistic, and grassroots-driven policy framework is driven by communities directly impacted by everyday violence, and applies to every level of government.

 
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Fund Proven Strategies to Reduce Gun Violence.

 
 

Create Trust, Justice, and Equity Between Communities and Law Enforcement

 

Building For Us.

 
 

Prohibit the Deadly Mix of Hate & Guns.

 

Remove Barriers to Research & a Public Health Approach to Gun Violence.

 
 
 
 

Support Initiatives to Combat Gender Based Violence.

Close Dangerous Loopholes, Stop Firearms Trafficking & Enhance Oversight of Licensed Gun Dealers.

 
 
 
 
 

Ensure Young People and Children Are Safe from Gun Violence.

 
 

agenda item 1.

Fund Proven Strategies to Reduce Gun Violence.  

Any serious policy agenda that is rooted in addressing gun violence must center comprehensive approaches to gun violence. This means utilizing proven strategies to reduce gun violence led by those on the frontlines of everyday gun violence. The Centers for Disease Control reported that Black Americans represent the majority of gun homicide victims and are 10 times more likely than white Americans to die by gun homicide. The homicide victimization rate for Latinx victims is nearly twice as high as the murder rate for white victims according to the Violence Policy Center. Leaders and organizers on the frontlines of gun violence everyday need resources to support their lifesaving work. We know that education and other intersectional issues are important to this work, and that is why it is key to look at comprehensive approaches such as Operation Ceasefire, Cure Violence, and Advance Peace.

From The Frontlines: Erica Ford & NYC Crisis Management Center

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agenda item 2.

Create Trust, Justice, and Equity Between Communities and Law Enforcement

The issue of inappropriate excessive use of force within law enforcement against communities of color must be addressed. These strategies and policies must include building trust between communities of color and law enforcement. Creating trust requires addressing inappropriate excessive use of force by law enforcement against communities of color. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Native Americans are killed in police encounters at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group.

From the Frontline: Pastor Ben McBride & Building Trust with Communities and Police

Trust Through Reform Project: Building Trust With Communities and Law Enforcement

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agenda item 3.

Support Initiatives to Combat Gender Based Violence. 

Elected leaders must pass laws that prevent stalkers and abusers, who are more likely to intimidate, hurt, or kill women, from accessing guns. We must close loopholes that do not reflect the reality that a large proportion of women gun violence victims are shot by an intimate partner, a former partner, or a stalker. The Trace reported that black women are twice as likely to be fatally shot by an intimate partner compared to white women. We need laws that expands restrictions on people who have been convicted of domestic violence from owning guns to include people who have been convicted of any violent misdemeanor, and we must ensure that dating partners are included in the policy. We must also ensure that domestic violence laws do not further criminalize women of color, who are disproportionately impacted by violence in America.

*Uniform Crime Reporting Program: Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR), 2012-2016. See endnote 26. Analysis includes homicides involving an intimate partner and a firearm, and compares the crude death rates for Black women (0.63 per 100,000) versus white women (0.34 per 100,000) (all ages included; Hispanic and non-Hispanic women included).

From the Frontline: Qudsia Raja & Supporting VAWA for communities of color


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agenda item 4.

Ensure Young People and Children Are Safe from Gun Violence.  

We must require gun owners to lock and safely secure their firearms safely when not in their immediate possession or control. According to the CDC’s mortality report, firearms are the second leading cause of death for American children and teens and the first leading cause of death for Black children and teens. Gun owners who leave guns accessible to children or other unauthorized persons would be subject to liability. The Center for American Progress reported that black children and teens are 15 times more likely than white children and teens of the same age to die by gun homicide. Locked and stored guns are also less likely to be stolen by our young people, and gun owners who leave guns accessible to children or other unauthorized persons would be subject to liability. . Lawmakers must also reject the idea of arming teachers and officials in schools.  

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WISQARS Fatal Injury Reports, Leading Causes of Death, United States. Data from 2016. Children and teenagers aged 1-19, Black defined as non-Hispanic, number of deaths by known intent (homicide, suicide, unintentional deaths). Age 0-1 calculated separately by the CDC because leading causes of death for newborns and infants are specific to the age group. See also: Heron M. Deaths: Leading causes for 2015. National Vital Statistics Reports, Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017; 66(5).

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WISQARS Fatal Injury Reports. Data reflect a 5 year average (2012-2016) of gun deaths by race. Analysis includes: ages 0-19, and non-Hispanic only and homicide including legal intervention.

From the Frontlines: New Yorkers Against Gun Violence + Youth Over Guns Movement


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agenda item 5.

Close Dangerous Loopholes, Stop Firearms Trafficking & Enhance Oversight of Licensed Gun Dealers. 

To address gun violence, we must focus on both access and the the sources of guns. We need background check laws that close dangerous loopholes that enable the wrong people to access firearms. And we must demand that law makers properly regulate the gun industry to ensure they do not irresponsibly endanger communities. Laws to address gun trafficking can focus law enforcement attention on the sources of guns rather than the possessors of guns, which could reduce the flow of weapons into neighborhoods. We must ensure that the laws do not lead to mass incarceration of our communities, and there must be oversight on the discretion of law enforcement during the implementation of policy demands.

From the Frontlines: Giffords & Healing Communities in Crisis

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agenda item 6.

Remove Barriers to Research & A Public Health Approach to Gun Violence. 

We must focus on gun violence as a public health issue, and not criminalize communities impacted by everyday gun violence. Doctors and public health professionals should be able to support and research the issue of gun violence. Congress needs to fund gun violence prevention research with a specific price tag. Lawmakers must also improve the collection of information regarding Latinx victims of gun violence due to limitations of publicly available information on ethnicities. Every year thousands of Americans survive shootings and are left out of the gun violence conversation. Lawmakers and advocates should work with leaders in the survivor and disability rights community to support healing-informed solutions to tackle the trauma from gun violence.

From the Frontlines: Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue

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agenda item 7.

Prohibit the Deadly Mix of Hate & Guns.

We know that marginalized communities can have a higher risk of being victims of bias attacks driven by hate. Lawmakers must pass comprehensive legislation that prohibits hate crime offenders from legally purchasing firearms. We continue to see a dramatic rise in gun deaths of trans women of color, and many of those deaths are still underreported. Additionally, the tragic deaths in Charleston in 2015, and the Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018 are reminders that communities are under attack because of the deadly mix between hate and guns. According to the Center for American Progress, most states have hate crime laws, but do not provide protections against those who use guns as the method of violence for those hate crimes, and we need to do more to protect our communities.

From the Frontlines: Center for American Progress & The Mix Between Guns and Hate


 

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