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Warner & Kaine Encourage Virginia Entities to Apply for Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Funding to Address School Safety and Reduce Community Violence

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine are encouraging Virginia school districts, local governments, non-profits, and other eligible entities to apply for federal funding to help address school safety and reduce community violence. The funding was made possible by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), legislation the senators voted to pass last year to curb gun violence following mass shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, and communities across the country.

“We’ve heard from so many Virginians, including students and parents, who do not feel safe in their communities following horrific gun violence in the Commonwealth and across the country. It’s clear we must do more,” said Warner and Kaine. “While we continue to push for additional commonsense solutions to curb this epidemic, we encourage Virginia entities to apply for this federal funding we secured from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to help keep Virginia communities safe.

Thanks to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, Virginia entities can now apply through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) for additional funding from the STOP School Violence and Community-Based Violence Intervention programs.

  • Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Program: The BSCA provided $200 million in additional grant funding to prevent violence in and around K-12 school settings. The funding can be used to hire school personnel such as psychologists or social workers; train school personnel and educate students on preventing school violence, including strategies to improve school climate; and more. Eligible entities, including but not limited to state governments, public and private institutions of higher education, local and Tribal governments, non-profits, and independent school districts, can apply here. The application period opened on March 15; the deadline to apply is May 15. More information on STOP School Violence funding is available here.
  • Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI) Program: The BSCA provided $250 million in additional grant funding to support efforts that reduce and prevent community violence. This funding can be used for community-driven violence intervention and prevention programs aimed at developing and expanding the infrastructure needed to support safety and strengthen neighborhoods. Some examples of how funding has been used in the past include expanding mental health services, violence intervention and response services, and youth entrepreneurship training. Eligible entities, including but not limited to state, local, and Tribal governments, non-profits, public and private institutions of higher education, and public and Tribal housing authorities, can apply here. The application period opened March 7; the deadline to apply is May 25. More information on CVIPI funding is available here.

Warner and Kaine have long supported a comprehensive approach to curbing gun violence, including expanding background record checks prior to gun purchases, placing responsible limits on combat-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, and improving access to mental health services. They have introduced the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence—a bill based on commonsense measures adopted by Virginia, including improved background checks, better safeguards for victims of domestic violence, and incentives for states to implement Extreme Risk Protection Orders to remove firearms from individuals who pose a high risk of harming themselves or others. They are also cosponsors of legislation to ban assault weapons.