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Biden details new steps to combat gun violence

President Biden met with New York Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday to discuss ways to fight gun violence, about two weeks after two New York Police Department officers were shot and killed by a man who had an illegal gun.

The Department of Justice will work with state and local law enforcement to "address the most significant drivers of violence" in every town and municipality, Biden said. Additionally, the DOJ is sending more resources to task forces working to shut down the Iron Pipeline, the route used to illegally funnel guns from the South to the northern United States.

Congress needs to be part of the solution as well, Biden said, and he called on lawmakers to pass his appropriations package that would set aside $300 million to hire more police officers and $200 million to fund community outreach programs that aim to stop conflicts before they escalate to violence.

"The answer is not to defund the police," Biden said. "It's to give you the tools, the training, the funding to be partners, to be protectors and community leaders. To know the community, you know. Police need to treat everyone with respect and dignity." There also has to be "more social workers," Biden declared. "We need mental health workers, we need more people who when you're called on these scenes, and someone's about to jump off a roof, it's not just someone standing there with a weapon. It's someone who also knows how to talk to people, talk them down."

The Gun Violence Archive says that in 2021, there were more than 44,000 gun deaths and 40,000 gun injures reported in the United States, ABC News reports.