Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan at White House to address gun violence

Vice President Kamala Harris was greeted by Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan when she arrived at the JAX airport on July 21, 2023.

Jacksonville, Fl — Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan is going to participate in a White House event today, announcing a national office of gun violence prevention.

The office is designed to work with cities and states to offer resources and implement policies that will reduce gun violence.

Deegan’s visit comes nearly a month after three people were killed in a racially-motivated shooting at the Dollar General in New Town.

A spokesman for Mayor Deegan says she will be seeking to bring federal dollars to Jacksonville.

Vice President Kamala Harris will lead the office of gun violence prevention, which will seek to find ways around congressional inaction to stem rising violence.

“Throughout her career, the vice president has worked tirelessly to protect people from gun violence,” said Kristine Lucius, a domestic policy aide to Harris. “The vice president feels the urgency of this issue from every family she’s grieved with and from students across the country who are fighting for their right to be saved from gun violence.”

The office fulfills a key demand of gun safety activists who banded together as a coalition to endorse Biden for president in 2024, and is an effort by the White House to keep the issue front-and-center as Biden pushes for a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and works to mobilize voters critical to his reelection strategy — suburban women, voters of color and younger voters.

Overall, stricter gun laws are desired by a majority of Americans, regardless of what the current gun laws are in their state. That desire could be tied to some Americans’ perceived impact of what fewer guns could mean for the country — namely, fewer mass shootings.

Rich Jones

Rich Jones, News 104.5 WOKV

Rich Jones is the Host of Jacksonville’s Morning News. Rich joined WOKV in October 2006. Rich is involved in many community organizations and causes. Rich and his wife, Noelle, have three children: Avery, Harper and Austen.