COLORADO, USA — With data showing that youth violence is on the rise, the state of Colorado is set to receive more than $4.5 million from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to fund efforts aimed at combatting gun violence.
The DOJ provided funding to 49 states, territories, and the District of Columbia as part of the Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program. The total investment of more than $231 million will fund state crisis intervention court proceedings, including but not limited to, extreme risk protection order (ERPO) programs that work to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others.
The investment was authorized by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022.
“The Justice Department is working relentlessly to protect communities from violent crime and the gun violence that often drives it, and the Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program is an important part of that effort,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.
“These awards will support the kinds of crisis intervention programs that we know save lives and help protect children, families, and communities across the country from senseless acts of gun violence.”
Projects funded through the program need to demonstrate that they have taken measures to safeguard the constitutional rights of an individual subject to a crisis intervention program or ERPO initiative.
The Justice Department has long supported state efforts to increase the use of ERPOs and in 2021 the Department released model legislation to help states create their own extreme risk protection order systems and provide for intervention before warning signs turn into tragedy.
"The fight against violent crime and gun violence is a priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We recognize this effort requires an innovative approach, including effective enforcement, prosecution, prevention, and meaningful community engagement. We are confident this funding will help create safer communities, while promoting responsible gun ownership," said United States Attorney Cole Finegan.
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