March 23, 2016

Wyden, Senate Democrats Call to End the Ban on CDC Gun Violence Research

Senators push to fund federal scientific research into the causes of gun violence

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and 16 Senators are urging Senate appropriators to dedicate funds for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence in the United States.

A 1996 Republican appropriations rider prohibits federal funds from being used to advocate or promote gun control, which some have misconstrued as a ban on funding scientific research into the causes of gun violence. The author of the original rider, former Representative Jay Dickey, R-Ark., now supports funding CDC gun violence research and has stated that the rider should not block researching the epidemic of gun violence.

Earlier this year, Senate Democrats pushed appropriators to fund gun violence research at the CDC.

“We must take this important step because only the United States government is in a position to establish an integrated public-health research agenda to understand the causes of gun violence and identify the most effective strategies for prevention,” the senators wrote in the letter last week.

A copy of the letter on CDC gun violence research funding can be found HERE.

Other senators signing the letter include: Sens. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, Robert Menendez, D-N.J. and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

Last year, Wyden, along with Markey, introduced bicameral legislation with Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., to fund research at the CDC on gun violence prevention and firearms safety. The legislation calls for $10 million each year for six years.