Proposed legislation to extend support to gun violence victims and their families

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ALBANY, NY (WENY) — On Nov. 11, 2008, Marie Delus lost her 20-year-old nephew Pierre-Paul Jean Paul Jr. to an act of gun violence. Now, she said she is advocating on his behalf and for other families.

“A lot of us gun violence survivors, especially the ones here advocating, we lost our loved ones to the streets. We lost an entire generation. We do not want other families to feel the same way that we feel,” she said.

There are currently four bills introduced in the Senate and three in the Assembly intending to extend support and protections for crime victims and their families.

These pieces of legislation intend to do this by expanding accessibility toward victim compensation funds and violence prevention services, creating a firearm violence intervention fund, and ending the defense of qualified immunity–a legal principle that protects public officials like police officers from some civil lawsuits.

Some advocates said it’s important for the legislature to address accessibility to victims’ compensation funds.

“It can be almost insurmountable odds for victims of crime and their families to get access to these funds that are supposed to be intended to help them,” said Diane Rinaldo, advocate with Moms Demand Action.

The bills addressing victim compensation currently sit in committees and have yet to go to the Senate or Assembly floor for a vote.


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