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Press Release

Department of Justice Announces More than $5.2 Million in Grant Award to Improve State Enforcement of Protection Order Laws and Reduce Gun Violence

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, today announced a $5,245,397 Department of Justice grant to the Washington State Department of Commerce. The grant award will be used to implement the Byrne State Crisis Implementation Program for the state of Washington. This award will support state, local, and tribal efforts across the state to improve the implementation and enforcement of protection order laws and practices that can keep firearms out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others.

The funding has been authorized by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which the President signed into law in June 2022. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is the most significant piece of federal gun safety legislation in almost three decades and comes as a response to recent mass shootings and to the far more common, but no less tragic, incidents of community gun violence. Including the Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program, the law allocates a total of $1.4 billion to OJP over five years to develop, implement, and sustain meaningful investments in safer communities.

With the announcement of today’s award, U.S. Attorney Waldref stated, “The United States Justice Department is committed to supporting state laws designed to curb gun violence and enforce protection orders.” She continued, “The $5.2 million award to Washington State will help save lives, keep children and law enforcement safe, and protect our families and communities from needless acts of gun violence.

Nationally, the Department of Justice announced over $231 million in state crisis intervention as part of the Bryne State Crisis Intervention Program. For a full list of awards, please visit: These awards are the latest effort from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs to implement this historic legislation.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers the Byrne State Crisis Implementation Program. BJA was created in 1984 to reduce violent crime, create safer communities, and reform aspects of our criminal justice system. BJA works with communities, governments, and nonprofit organizations to reduce crime, recidivism, unnecessary confinement, and promote a safe and fair criminal justice system. More information about BJA is available at Information specific to the Byrne State Crisis Implementation Program is available at

Additional information about grants and funding through the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs is available at


Richard Barker 
Assistant United States Attorney and Public Affairs Officer
509-835-6311 or

Updated February 14, 2023

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