CHICAGO --- Two gun violence prevention organizations, Freedom States Alliance and States United to Prevent Gun Violence are joining forces to strengthen state-level advocacy efforts to save lives. Freedom States Alliance (FSA) will merge with States United to Prevent Gun Violence (SUPGV) and assume the States United to Prevent Gun Violence name effective immediately. The mission of the organization, SUPGV, is to support existing state-based gun violence prevention organizations and to expand the network of groups working to reduce gun violence throughout the United States.
The merger will maximize resources and allow for better coordination to reduce the devastating toll from gun-related deaths and injuries. Each year, guns kill over 30,000 people in the United States. Another 80,000 people are shot and injured, leaving physical and emotional scars that last for years.
“Despite the tragic and ongoing epidemic of gun violence in this country, policymakers remain unwilling to take any meaningful action to address this urgent public safety issue,” said Sally Slovenski, executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence. “We believe that aligning our efforts through the merger will increase opportunities for the sharing of resources and replication of successful strategies for state groups. This will in turn provide greater opportunities for progress on this issue in state houses across the country.”
For example, the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) recently launched a 450 mile tour with a display of 450 shirts, representing the victims of gun violence in Wisconsin in one year, to raise awareness and engage the public in their work to prevent gun violence. Additionally, Ceasefire New Jersey mobilized to help pass a one-gun-a-month law in New Jersey. “These success stories are great examples of the kind of results and replication of model programs we anticipate,” Slovenski said.
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“We are coming together in a more coordinated way to leverage resources and better coordinate our efforts,” said Barbara Hohlt, the new interim board chair for SUPGV. “Individual state groups urgently need added resources and tools to advance their life-saving agenda. This is exactly the kind of support SUPGV can provide.”