MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH ARMS WITH ETHICS AT NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL GUN VIOLENCE MEETING
Award from The Boston Foundation will fund innovative pilot program to reduce gun violence
PROVIDENCE - Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Commissioner William Evans today announced a new partnership to fight gun violence at the third New England Regional Gun Violence Meeting. Through a $25,000 grant from the Boston Foundation (TBF), the non-profit Arms With Ethics will work with Boston to lead a multi-city pilot program in the New England Region to develop customized law enforcement-led projects focused on preventing the illegal flow and illegal use of guns.
Mayor Walsh was joined by Mayors, Police Chiefs and policy staff from across New England at today's summit to continue the discussion around specific ideas and actions that can be taken to address gun violence and gun safety.
"We know that illegal guns come into Boston from surrounding jurisdictions, which is why we have taken an aggressive regional approach with all of our partners in New England," said Mayor Walsh. "I thank The Boston Foundation for supporting this initiative to strengthen our efforts to reduce gun violence, and their strong partnership in testing new ideas and innovations to address the most critical challenges facing communities."
"This is about common sense solutions. As law enforcement leaders in the region we have mutual interests and ways we can help each other, and that's what this about," said Commissioner Evans. "This is not about solving gun violence in just one city, it's about coming together at this regionally and finding strategies that work across city and state lines."
Through this project, Arms With Ethics will work with mayors and police leaders in selected cities, in addition to Boston, to develop customized law enforcement-led projects focused on preventing the illegal flow and illegal use of guns. The goal of these pilot projects is to translate the regional information-sharing and collaboration generated by the New England Regional Gun Summit into immediate, concrete action. The pilot designs will be replicable, with the intention that once they are established and proven in the selected sites, the solutions will be expanded to other interested cities participating in the New England Gun Violence Summit.
"The Boston Foundation is pleased to support this innovative approach to reducing gun violence and appreciate the leadership of Mayor Walsh in bringing the proposal to our attention," said President and CEO Paul Grogan. "As Greater Boston's community foundation, we work to ensure that our communities are vibrant and our residents are healthy and thriving. Gun violence threatens the progress we've made as a community, and we need to find solutions that are regional and collaborative in nature."
"The issues contributing to gun violence are bigger than any one community or any one city. The New England Gun Violence Summit provides a powerful platform to bring together local leadership and resources to offer law enforcement-focused solutions that can impact gun violence both regionally and nationally," said Casey Woods, Executive Director of Arms With Ethics. "Arms With Ethics is proud to be part of this bold, common-sense effort, and we thank Mayor Walsh, Commissioner Evans, and The Boston Foundation for their support and leadership on this project."
About the New England Regional Gun Violence Summit:
This summit served as a follow up to previous summits hosted by Mayor Walsh in November 2015 and April of 2014 in Boston. Since 2014, cities across New England have worked collaboratively to share strategies to reduce gun violence and reduce trafficking of illegal firearms. This regional partnership focuses on collaboration and open dialogue about the reality of gun violence in New England cities. To date, significant actions have been taken by cities across the region, a result of the direct connections made between cities and law enforcement agencies with field experts and community partners. Following Mayor Walsh and Commissioner Evans' outreach to responsible gun owners, several cities in the region have also reached out to engage responsible gun owners on firearm storage and safety, offering guidance on recent updates to State law regarding reporting requirements for lost and stolen firearms, and in some cities, even providing free firearm locks. After the City of Boston implemented the Replica Handgun Ban in 2015, several cities in New England have begun to explore implementing similar measures. This regional approach to gun violence reduction and illegal firearms trafficking reduction has its strength in municipalities creating and implementing strategies that have both immediate and long-term direct impacts on residents at the community level.