Press Release

Giffords and Leading Medical and Public Health Groups Call on Senate Leadership to Appropriate Funding for Gun Violence Research

In a letter addressed to Senators McConnell and Schumer, Giffords and 18 medical and public health organizations call for $50 million to research gun violence

The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved $50 million in dedicated funding for Fiscal Year 2020

September 26, 2019Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, along with 18 leading medical and public health groups, sent a letter to U.S. Senate leadership calling for the Senate to fund gun violence research through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The letter reads: “Over the past several decades, scientific and medical research has led to policy advances in automobiles, public sanitation, and cancer treatment that have saved countless lives. We ask the CDC, the nation’s premier institution of public health, to apply similar dedication to tackling the issues of gun violence, gun deaths, and gun injury. The cost of inaction is too significant and we cannot wait any longer. We urge you to include $50 million in dedicated funding for gun violence research in any final Fiscal Year 2020 bill. The nation is counting on you.”

The group of medical and public health groups sent a similar letter on the eve of the 116th Congress to House and Senate leadership. Giffords and the medical groups formed a new partnership to focus on funding federal research on gun violence, gun deaths, and gun injury in order to better improve public health and safety. The collective effort will call on Congress to properly fund CDC gun violence prevention research. In 2017, 39,773 Americans died from gun violence, meaning that 119 people were killed by guns each day.

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.”

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives approved $50 million in dedicated funding to research America’s gun violence crisis. The U.S. Senate’s recently released Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2020 legislation included $0 in funding for gun violence research.

Medical and public health groups signing on to the letter include:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  • American College of Physicians
  • American College of Preventive Medicine
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Medical Student Association
  • American Medical Women’s Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Public Health Association
  • Big Cities Health Coalition
  • Docs Demand Action
  • Doctors for America
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • National Network of Public Health Institutes
  • Safe States Alliance
  • Scrubs Addressing the Firearm Epidemic
  • This is Our Lane