LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A federal crisis funding grant is putting millions of dollars into Arkansas to fight gun crime.
The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration has received a $3,210,628 grant to fund programs in the state to keep guns out of the hands of high-risk individuals. The funding comes from a United States Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
DFA spokesperson Scott Hardin said the money will be used to initiate a new program in Arkansas, the Extreme Risk Protection Order Program. He explained ERPO works in coordination with the courts to keep firearms out of the hands of those that pose a threat to themselves or others.
Hardin continued that a collaborative effort with the Administrative Office of the Courts will be developed to address crisis intervention objectives through court proceedings. This will also include intervention and behavioral health programs provided through the court.
Additional funding will be provided to law enforcement agencies to safely secure and track relinquished firearms. The program will also include training for those implementing it, along with education and public awareness for citizens, Hardin said.
Hardin said the DFA’s Intergovernmental Services team will oversee distribution of the funds.
Arkansas organizations that wish to receive a program grant may apply with DFA. Applications and guidelines will be posted when final and will include a distribution timeline, Hardin said.
The federal program which allocates the grant is called the Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program, established by the federal Safer Communities Act of 2022.