Skip to Main Content

GIFFORDS Calls for More Equitable Victim Compensation in Public Comment

The comment was submitted in support of the Office of Victims of Crime’s proposed rule to overhaul victim compensation program

Washington DC — Today, GIFFORDS, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, submitted a comment in support of a proposed rule by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to make victim compensation funds more accessible and equitable.

The rule would overhaul the Victim Compensation Program with new guidelines that address racially-biased state laws and policies that contribute to unequal access and undermine public safety and gun violence prevention measures writ large. These changes help ensure that victims of gun violence have access to compensation for medical costs, mental health counseling, lost wages, relocation, and funeral expenses.

Robert Gipson, Constitutional Litigation Fellow at GIFFORDS Law Center

“Gun violence affects nearly every American, and yet survivors don’t have equal access to resources and compensation for their own healing processes. Black and Brown Americans in particular have been disproportionately excluded from resources, perpetuating institutional biases that ignore and devalue trauma in communities of color. Survivors without resources can develop trauma responses like carrying a firearm, which often results in further incidents of gun violence. By meeting survivors’ healing needs the first time around, we can avoid more tragedy.

“I urge the OVC to finalize this rule, modernizing their guidelines to better address the people most impacted by our country’s persistent gun violence epidemic. With this rule, we can address two sides of gun violence by rightfully compensating every survivor and preventing violence from repeating itself.”

The new guidelines would prohibit racially-biased standards such as an applicant’s criminal history and immigration status to deny compensation.

Read GIFFORDS’s full comment here.


Our experts can speak to the full spectrum of gun violence prevention issues. Have a question? Email us at