Government Spending Compromise Includes $25 Million in Funding for Gun Violence Research
Earlier This Year, the House Passed Legislation to Provide $50 Million in Funding for Gun Violence Research, Which Senate Leadership Would Not Support
WASHINGTON –– Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund released the following statement today applauding the reported government spending deal that includes $25 million in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health research on gun violence. A fact sheet on why funding gun violence research matters is available here.
“Make no mistake, the passage of this bill marks an important victory for the gun safety movement — for the first time in more than 20 years, Congress will be appropriating funding specifically for research on gun violence, which now kills more Americans than car accidents,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We’re grateful to Rep. Nita Lowey for pushing this historic bill over the finish line. As we head into an election year, Senate Republicans would be wise to start listening to American voters and pass broadly popular background check and red flag legislation.”
Since the start of the 116th Congress, the House has taken significant action on gun violence by passing H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which would require background checks on all gun sales; H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, which contains life-saving provisions to disarm domestic abusers and stalkers; and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which would address the “Charleston loophole,” which allows gun sales to proceed after three business days even if a background check has not been completed. The Senate, however, has thus far failed to act––with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refusing to even allow a vote on any of these life-saving measures.
Every year, more than 36,000 people are killed with guns in the United States and approximately 100,000 more are shot and injured. America’s gun death rate is 11 times higher than that of other high-income countries. In a recent national poll, 58 percent of American adults reported that they or someone they care for have experienced gun violence in their lifetime. Despite this uniquely American epidemic, Congress has knowingly restricted gun violence research and, as a result, lives are put at risk every day.
When the CDC began studying gun violence in the early 1990s, the NRA fought aggressively to persuade Congress to block its funding. In 1996, the effort culminated in the so-called Dickey Amendment, which had a chilling effect on gun violence-related research conducted by the CDC. In the years since, CDC gun violence research shrank by over 90 percent. The 115th Congress passed legislation with report language to clarify that the CDC has the authority to conduct research on the causes of gun violence, but did not appropriate funding to conduct the research. The 116th Congress will now appropriate funds to research gun violence for the first time in more than two decades.