Florida’s #2 in Mass Shootings. Here’s How Maxwell Frost Wants to Change That.

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By Giselle Balido

March 24, 2023

The legislation introduced by Frost, himself a survivor of gun violence, seeks to establish an office of gun violence prevention that will “fight for a nation without fear.”

Maxwell Alejandro Frost (D-Fla.-10), the first-Generation Z Congressman from Florida, has introduced his first bill during the state’s legislative session that convened March 7 and will adjourn on May 5. 

“[One of] our top first three bills coming out of our office will be around gun violence. We lose 100 lives a day in this country due to gun violence,” Frost said to Floricua during a one-on-one interview. 

True to his word, the bicameral legislation introduced by Frost and Democratic Senators from Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal seeks to establish an Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the US Department of Justice (DOJ) that would bring together those most impacted by gun violence with leaders across federal agencies to prevent gun violence.

RELATED: ‘Worse Than Trump’: Rep. Maxwell Frost Speaks Out About Ron DeSantis in a One-on-One Interview

“As someone who grew up in a generation defined by mass shootings, an organizer to end this violent cycle since I was 15, and a survivor of gun violence myself, I came to Congress to continue the fight for a nation without fear, that’s why I ensured this was the first legislation I introduced,” said Frost, himself a survivor of gun violence when one Halloween a man involved in an argument started shooting in the Orlando street filled with revelers.

“I remember one of my friends freezing up and falling on the floor, and my friend and I had to grab her and run with her. And we just got in the car and were just sitting there, running away from gunfire,” Frost remembers. 

The newly created Office of Gun Violence Prevention would “bring together those most impacted by gun violence with leaders across federal agencies to advance policy, collect and report data, expand state and local outreach, and maximize existing programs and services related to preventing gun violence.”

RELATED: Una Dura Realidad: Gun Violence Disproportionally Affects Black and Latino Communities. Here’s What Needs to Be Done.

These measures include:

  1. Convening an Advisory Council of senior DOJ officials, survivors, community violence intervention providers, public health officials, medical professionals who provide trauma care, mental health clinicians, state and local public health department officials, teachers, members of student groups, and veterans.
  2. Coordinating gun violence prevention efforts across federal agencies. 
  3. Identifying gaps in data needed for gun violence prevention research, policy development, and strategy implementation, and developing a plan to collect and analyze the data. 
  4. Making policy recommendations.
  5. Educating the general public about federal laws, regulations, and available grant programs, including awareness campaigns directed at firearm owners, parents, and legal guardians of minors, and gun violence prevention professionals, that include education related to safe storage of firearms and suicide prevention.
  6. Optimizing the administration of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
  7. Annually reporting information to Congress on gun violence in the United States, recommendations for policy initiatives to reduce gun violence, and a description of the Director’s activities.

All Working Together

 “Gun violence is a daily event in this country, so, at the federal level, we must work on this issue every single day until we end this epidemic and establish this as a national priority. An Office of Gun Violence Prevention is the right first step,” says Frost.

March for Our Lives co-founder David Hogg, a survivor of February 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, agrees with this assessment.

“The reason why we need this office is kind of the reason why an orchestra needs a conductor. Because everybody is kind of, the DOJ and HHS and all these other federal agencies, are playing their own songs. We need them to be playing one song in harmony together,” he said.

https://theamericanonews.com/floricua/newsletter/

Author

  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.

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