• Press Release

President Biden Fulfills March For Our Lives’ Demand to Create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention 

MFOL was the first national group to call for a dedicated office of gun violence prevention and has demanded it with our allies ever since. 

Today’s announcement makes clear—young people are a political force to be reckoned with.

Washington, D.C. — After years of concerted pressure and organizing from youth activists and survivors, March For Our Lives is enthused to see that the White House announced today the creation of an Office of Gun Violence Prevention. March For Our Lives has worked tirelessly for over four years, alongside our friends at Brady, Change The Ref, Community Justice Action Fund, Guns Down America, and Newtown Action Alliance, to create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the White House. This office will marshal a whole-of-government approach and is a critical milestone in the fight against gun violence, as it will be responsible for the creation of a cohesive strategy, serve as a centralized hub for federal efforts, and will allow us to throw everything we have at the gun violence epidemic. 

With wins earlier this week on climate justice, after years of tireless organizing by young people that led to the creation of the American Climate Corps, it’s clear that President Biden recognizes young people’s political power and influence. It’s also clear that there’s been a paradigm shift in American politics around guns and that young people created that change. We’re hopeful that he will continue to fight for policies that young people have demanded, and we will continue to push the administration for policies that prioritize our lives – such as requesting that the administration appoint a Director of Youth Engagement and pushing for increased funding and commitment to research and community-based violence intervention programs.

“This is a great day for youth activism and a big step forward for gun safety,” said Natalie Fall, Executive Director of March For Our Lives. “We’ve called for this office for so many years because we know it will be a critical tool in our toolbox to end gun violence. The federal government has significant resources, in talent and treasure, to tackle the root causes of gun violence. For the first time, we have significant funding at the federal level to tackle gun violence and dozens of evidence-based programs that have been deployed over the years. We need someone to coordinate all of that and advise the President on how to cut through the red tape and take urgent action on gun violence.” 

“We know what it takes to end gun violence. We just need leaders willing to stick their necks out and take bold action,” said Trevon Bosley, Board Co-Chair of March For Our Lives. “The President took bold action today, and we’re enthused to work with him to demand more for America’s young people. I’m also enthused to see that our dear friend Greg Jackson will serve as one of the Deputy Directors of the office. We’re confident that, with a friend and a consummate expert on gun safety in the White House, we will make significant progress in the fight against gun violence.”  

“This office is going to have a real, tangible impact on gun violence,” said David Hogg, co-founder of March For Our Lives. “But there’s also tremendous symbolic power here. March For Our Lives has been calling for this office since 2019, and it was one of our key campaigns that we worked on in 2021 back when Rep. Maxwell Frost was our Organizing Director. From standing in the cold outside the White House to demand this office, to Rep. Frost’s first ever bill that called for its creation, and now to the President listening to our demands and formally establishing an office of gun violence prevention, this victory shows the power of young people flexing our organizing and political muscle. Young voters have arrived, and the President recognizes our power.”

We’ve been clear from the beginning that this is about more than just symbolism. A senior leader in the White House with the ear of the President, empowered to coordinate across departments and agencies of the federal government, can help unlock the cumulative power of the government to help save lives. For instance, they can coordinate efforts at the Department of Veterans Affairs with the CDC to ensure that lifesaving programs are implemented effectively, data is collected to improve those programs, and those programs could be replicated at the Department of Health and Human Services or be turned into new standards of care required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Money dedicated to community violence intervention programming at the Department of Justice could be boosted with support from research funding from the CDC or further resources from the Department of Education. While these partnerships already occur, a senior coordinator in the White House could turbocharge those efforts and identify more points of synergy and improvement. 

Here are statements from our partners in Congress who have been tireless advocates for gun violence prevention:

Representative Maxwell Frost

“Alongside March for Our Lives and the organizations and activists leading the charge against gun violence, I introduced legislation to create the first-ever Office of Gun Violence Prevention back in March because I refuse to ever accept that the senseless gun violence destroying our communities is normal. Today, I am thrilled that President Biden has answered our call. This office is the first critical step to tackling gun violence head on and ensuring that the federal government can lead in the fight to live in a world where we never lose another life because of a gun. This is a true win for our movement but, above all, a win for our people, our communities who deserve an end to this violence.”

Senator Chris Murphy

“Establishing a White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention has the potential to give a shot in the arm to our fight to end gun violence. It’s going to help ensure that state, local, and federal agencies have the resources they need to better enforce gun safety laws, educate the public, fund gun violence prevention programs, and coordinate efforts across the federal government. That’s why I was proud to join March for Our Lives in pushing for this office and introduced a bill earlier this year to create it. I’m thrilled to see President Biden make it a reality.” 

Senator Richard Blumenthal

“An Office of Gun Violence Prevention is a major step forward in our fight against this deadly epidemic. This new office will provide a central point of leadership to concentrate resources and bring together survivors, law enforcement, experts, and policymakers. My colleagues and I have pushed for the creation of this office through legislation, and executive action by President Biden shows his commitment to saving lives. Communities and families across the country have had enough – we must turn our pain into purpose and stem the tide of gun violence.”

Representative Mike Thompson

“Gun violence is an epidemic unique to our country, and it demands our attention at every level of government,” said Thompson. “The Office of Gun Violence Prevention at the White House will ensure that this issue is front and center for the Biden Administration and will help us advance commonsense solutions to help save lives and keep our kids safe. Thank you to the outstanding groups like March For Our Lives, Community Justice Action Fund, Everytown, Brady, Giffords, and others for their tireless advocacy on the creation of this important office.”

Representative Robin Kelly

“We are losing a generation of young people to the crisis of gun violence, and we cannot afford to let the cycle of violence continue. I welcome President Biden’s renewed commitment to addressing this public health crisis. Gun violence is an everyday problem, and our government must focus on solutions every day. I am grateful to my colleagues in Congress for keeping the faith and continuing to fight for common sense gun safety measures. I look forward to continuing to work in close partnership with the Biden-Harris Administration to stop the cycle of violence and keep our communities safe,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly.

Senator Cory Booker

“I applaud President Biden’s decision to create the Office of Gun Violence Prevention. In the face of Congressional inaction, I have long advocated for the administration to take additional action to solve this urgent crisis. This office will help implement proven solutions to combat the senseless gun violence that has gripped our nation for far too long. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to pass legislation to reform our country’s broken gun laws so we can end this epidemic and keep our communities safe.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal

“An Office of Gun Violence Prevention is a major step forward in our fight against this deadly epidemic. This new office will provide a central point of leadership to concentrate resources and bring together survivors, law enforcement, experts, and policymakers. My colleagues and I have pushed for the creation of this office through legislation, and executive action by President Biden shows his commitment to saving lives. Communities and families across the country have had enough – we must turn our pain into purpose and stem the tide of gun violence.”

Senator Bob Menendez

“This year alone, more than 500 mass shootings have ripped apart communities all across the country. The scale of violence is an affront to everything America stands for, which is why I applaud the creation of a new Office of Gun Violence Prevention at the White House. By coordinating our federal response through a single office, we take crucial steps toward ending this epidemic of death. In particular, I’m heartened that the Biden Administration heeded the call of gun violence victims and their families who have been continuously raising their voices in support of this initiative. While Republicans in Congress callously stand in the way of commonsense legislation, I urge the administration to use all the tools at its disposal — including executive actions — to confront the devastating scourge of gun violence.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

“Today, President Biden’s administration has taken another historic step in our fight to end the gun violence epidemic plaguing our nation. The creation of the first-ever federal office of gun violence prevention will be instrumental in implementing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which enacted the first major federal gun safety reforms in nearly 30 years and included provisions from my legislation to crack down on criminal networks and make gun trafficking a federal crime. While we still have more to do, this office is an important step forward that will keep our communities safer now and in the future. The American people have demanded that we act to stop these senseless killings, and President Biden is heeding our call.” 

Representative Judy Chu

“This year alone, we have already surpassed 500 mass shootings in the United States, with one occurring in my own hometown of Monterey Park, California. It remains inspiring how seriously the Biden-Harris Administration takes the gun violence epidemic in my community and around the entire country, and the establishment of a new office in the White House dedicated to gun violence prevention builds on their previous efforts. The President has again taken decisive action, but my Republican House colleagues have so far refused to bring any commonsense gun safety legislation to the floor for a vote this year—including my own legislative package to strengthen our red flag laws and make gun safety resources more accessible to everyone in America.”

Senator Ed Markey

​​“The movement to end the gun violence epidemic has a champion in the White House. I applaud President Biden for heeding our call and the call of millions of young people by making history today and establishing the White House’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention. From passing decades-in-the-making gun safety legislation through Congress last year to funding new research, we can and will end the scourge of gun violence—but we know we have so much more work to do. We owe it to the many changemakers who are organizing in communities and campuses across the country for a better, safer future.”

Representative Jamaal Bowman

“Gun violence is an epidemic of catastrophic proportions, and I am heartened to see the President and his administration take this important step to deepen the Federal government’s response. Guns are the number one killer of our kids, and we must take action to protect our communities from this senseless violence. Improved coordination between agencies and a focused team tasked with protecting our children is exactly what we need right now, but there is still so much more to do. This year alone, there have been 504 mass shootings across the country, many of which were in schools. As an educator, I went to school every day, fearing for myself and my students, wondering if my school would be the next target. We need a holistic public health approach to address gun violence as the emergency that it is, targeting its root causes like poverty, housing insecurity, and under-resourced public services. It’s time for bold federal, state, and community-based initiatives that will keep people safe because too many lives have already been lost. I am grateful to the President for his leadership on this issue, and I urge my colleagues in Congress to join the administration in taking decisive action to prevent more senseless deaths by stopping the flow of illicit firearms into our communities, expanding background checks, and implementing red flag laws. We have the power to save lives, we just need the courage and determination to do so.”