Davis unveiled legislation to support families grieving gun violence victims

HARRISBURG, June 22 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, unveiled a legislative package at a news conference today that would support parents and families grieving the death of a child due to gun violence.

Davis said gun violence takes the lives of more than 100 children and teenagers in Pennsylvania in an average year, causing devastating grief for the victims’ families that can have psychological and financial consequences.

“Parents of gun violence victims experience additional difficulties throughout the grieving process,” Davis said. “It may take several years before they can truly begin to heal, at which point the economic damage may be done. The financial impact takes an even greater toll for low-income parents of color.”

Davis said his legislation, H.B. 1677 and H.B. 1678, would permit gun violence victims’ parents to defer debt payments or apply for a grant program that can provide financial assistance.

Members of the Mothers of Murdered Sons joined Davis at today’s news conference. Tina Ford helped to found MOMS following the 2019 death of her son, Armani Ford, to provide support to other families who have also lost a child to gun violence. Ford reached out to Davis to request legislation to support gun violence victims’ parents and families.

“We want to thank Representative Davis for not only listening to us, but for taking action on to introduce this bill,” Ford said. “No mother, no family should ever have to experience the loss that we have. But knowing that there would be help available, knowing that there would be resources available, during those terrible moments would be a great help. I pray that one day we will have a world without gun violence but, until then, we need to do everything we can to help the victims of these violent acts – and that includes the families and parents who are left to pick up the pieces of a broken a life.”

“The death of a child to gun violence is a sorrow that will live with the victims’ families for the rest of their lives,” Davis said. “They must be given the time and space to grieve without the fear of homelessness or bankruptcy.”

EDITORS NOTE: Video of today’s news conference is available here. Click here for photos.