WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) joined Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) in reintroducing a bill to fund research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on firearms safety and gun violence prevention. Last year, doctors and public health officials across the country came out in support of such research and affirmed the need to address gun violence as the health crisis that it is.
For over twenty years, an appropriations rider known as the Dickey Amendment has limited our understanding of this epidemic by stymying research into gun violence. The Dickey Amendment prevents the CDC from using funds to “advocate or promote gun control,” but it has been misconstrued as a ban on gun violence prevention research. Last year, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar testified that the Dickey Amendment does not prevent the CDC from conducting research into gun violence prevention, and report language accompanying the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus appropriations legislation similarly made this clarification. Before his death, the author of the original rider — former Representative Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) — came out in support of funding gun violence prevention research at the CDC, and stated that the rider should not stand in the way of researching the epidemic of gun violence.
Gun safety groups and health organizations endorsing the legislation include: Brady Campaign, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Sandy Hook Promise, March For Our Lives, Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, NoRA, Stop Handgun Violence, Arizonans for Gun Safety, Survivors Lead, Child Firearm Safety Alliance, Safe Tennessee Project, North Carolinians Against Gun Violence Education Fund, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, CeaseFire Pennsylvania, WAVE Educational Fund, Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah, Ceasefire Oregon, Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence, Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, Georgians for Gun Safety, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, Iowans for Gun Safety, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Academy of Family Physicians, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, Futures Without Violence, the American College of Physicians, and the American Federation of Teachers.
“We can stop gun violence before it happens if we invest in research and prevention,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. “This legislation is a down payment that will give our nation’s public health researchers urgently needed resources to identify and evaluate evidence-based programs and solutions that will save lives for generations to come. We thank Senator Markey and Congresswoman Maloney for their leadership and urge Congress to pass this critical funding for gun violence prevention research.”
“Gun violence now kills more Americans than auto accidents, but for decades the gun lobby has effectively blocked the federal government from researching this public health crisis,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety. We’re grateful to Senator Markey and Congresswoman Maloney for introducing a bill to fund research into the both the causes of gun violence as well as life-saving solutions. It’s tragic and absurd that the federal government spends tens of millions of dollars researching car safety, but nothing on research into gun safety.”
"Gun violence is a clear public health epidemic, and it is long past time that the federal government investigate it as such,” Kris Brown, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “We applaud Rep. Maloney and Sen. Markey's efforts to ensure that the CDC has all the financial resources it needs to research gun violence prevention, and we look forward to working with our friends in Congress to advance this important bill. Knowledge is power, and with gun violence killing 96 people and injuring another 246 people every day, we need all the knowledge we can get."
Joining Sens. Warner and Markey in supporting the legislation are: Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bob Casey (D-PA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Udall (D-NM), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Chris Coons (D-DE), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Gary Peters (D-MI).
House Members co-sponsoring the legislation include: Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Suzanne Bonamici (D-MI), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Andre Carson (D-IN), Katherine Clark (D-MA), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Susan Davis (D-CA), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Val Demings (D-FL), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Bill Foster (D-IL), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Robin Kelly (D-IL), Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Peter King (R-NY), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Andy Levin (D-MI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Lucy McBath (D-GA), Donald McEachin (D-VA), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Max Rose (D-NY), Harley Rouda (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), Donna Shalala (D-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Norma Torres (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY).