Newport News leaders using hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money to address gun violence

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Posted at 9:36 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 21:49:21-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - One local city is taking action to curb gun violence as the issue has risen in Hampton Roads throughout the pandemic.

The City of Newport News has been one Hampton Roads city recently impacted by gun violence, especially involving children. This includes recent shootings at Heritage High School and at a basketball game at Menchville High School.

Tuesday, Newport News city leaders zeroed in on gun violence at meeting, putting hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money from the state towards curbing the issue.

This includes $125,000 going towards community groups to help prevent gun violence and come up with solutions to reduce gun crime.

News 3 spoke with a group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which talked about funding being used in local groups with people who have relationships with kids most likely to be impacted or involved in gun violence.

"People who are from the community, they are credible messengers, and for some of the things that city councilors were talking about, they can reach those kids,” Ruth Winters, the leader of the Peninsula Branch of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said. “They know those kids and young adults. They work with them every day. They know when they are getting in fights, so they are some of the people who can help from the ground up.”

There's also another $25,000 that will go towards the city doing a study with Christopher Newport University, called a comprehensive gun violence community assessment.

The study will be specifically about gun violence within the city, and involve taking a look at the most pressing concerns around safety, root causes and effects of violence within the community.

Related: Gun violence survivor, advocate at Menchville game discusses support needed for youth