Washington, D.C. — Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization led by Representative Gabrielle Giffords, applauded the House Appropriations Committee for passing legislation that includes new funding for gun violence research for the first time in over two decades. Today, the committee passed the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2020 bill, which contains $50 million for dedicated research to address America’s gun violence crisis. The legislation also acknowledges there is no evidence that arming teachers makes schools safer and called for Secretary DeVos to explain her decisions and take action when the bill becomes law. It can now be considered for approval by the full House of Representatives.
Robin Lloyd, Giffords Managing Director:
“Terrified students fleeing a school shooting, a child describing an armed intruder invading a house of worship, heartbroken families saying goodbye to loved ones every single day—this is the reality of America’s gun violence crisis. We will never accept this horrible reality as normal. Americans from all across the country are demanding that the leaders they elected take urgent action to make our country safer. The new gun safety majority in Congress is listening, and they’re taking historic steps to address our nation’s gun violence epidemic. We applaud House leaders for allocating these critical resources to study gun violence and for forcing Secretary Betsy DeVos to confront the truth that arming teachers will not make students safer. Today’s vote is a critical first step in the right direction. But the fight isn’t over—we will continue to push for resources to research the best ways to keep families and communities safer while standing up for our students.”
Giffords launched a partnership with leading medical and public health groups to advocate for research funding at the CDC and the NIH to study gun violence, gun deaths, and gun injury in order to better improve public health and safety. In a letter sent to Congressional leadership for the 116th Congress, the groups noted that over the past several decades scientific and medical research has led to policies that have saved countless lives related to automobiles, public sanitation, and cancer. The collective effort is calling on Congress to properly fund gun violence prevention research.
Following a 1993 CDC-funded study that found individuals with a gun in the home are 2.7 times more likely to become homicide victims, Congress moved to strip CDC’s firearms research budget. Since then, federal investment in gun violence research has remained virtually absent at the nation’s premier institution for public health, despite gun deaths rising for the past three years to nearly 40,000 people in 2017. Recently, CDC and Trump administration officials have expressed CDC’s willingness and ability to restart this research, with CDC director Robert Redfield stating that his team is “poised to do the research in this area if Congress chooses to appropriate the funding.”
Fact Sheet: Funding Federal Gun Violence Research