The Senate now must act to ensure this funding becomes law
Washington, DC — Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of the gun violence prevention organization Giffords, applauded the House of Representatives for passing legislation that includes new funding for gun violence research for the first time in over two decades. The full House approved 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 decision to effectively greenlight using federal dollars to put guns in schools. It can now be considered by the Senate.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
“Despite the fact that every day, 100 Americans are shot to death, politicians prioritized the gun lobby’s wishlist, and blocked funding to research the root causes of our gun violence epidemic. The research we need to better understand how we can save lives and prevent future tragedies. Things have changed. The new gun safety majority in Congress understands Americans will not accept inaction any longer. Today is a critical step in unleashing the power of American research and ingenuity into identifying solutions to address gun violence. While we celebrate today’s victory, I’m calling on the Senate to take the next step. Voters are watching to see if they’ll continue prioritizing the gun lobby, or if they’re ready to make our country safer.”
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