WASHINGTON – Everytown for Gun Safety, the country’s largest gun violence prevention organization, today released the following statement applauding the introduction of new legislation in Congress by Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) that would lift the restriction on funding gun violence prevention research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In 1996, Congress passed a budget rider to block funding for the CDC to study gun violence. In 2015, Jay Dickey (R-AR), the former Congressman who sponsored the 1996 budget rider, wrote a public letter expressing regret and requesting Congress begin funding research.
Since the passage of the 1996 budget rider, CDC funding for firearm injury prevention has fallen 96 percent. Meanwhile, firearm fatalities rank among the top five leading causes of injury deaths for Americans and is the second leading cause of injury death for those age 15-24.
STATEMENT FROM SARAH TOFTE, RESEARCH DIRECTOR FOR EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“For more than two decades, Congress has abdicated the federal government’s leadership role in gun violence prevention research – a result of repeated campaigns by the gun lobby and its congressional allies to stop gun violence prevention by cutting it off at the root. Especially egregious is Congress’s gutting of the CDC’s funding of gun violence research, effectively eliminating the agency’s work on a crisis that kills more than 90 Americans and injures hundreds more every day. The legislation introduced today by Representative Murphy to lift the budget rider on federal funding for gun violence research is an essential first step restoring the government leadership role in gun violence prevention. It is imperative that Congress provide the long overdue funding to study the role of firearms on public health – American lives are on the line.”