In the Wake of Another School Shooting, Maloney, Gun Safety Advocates, Researchers Call on HHS to Immediately Begin Research to Combat Gun Violence

May 19, 2018
Press Release
Congress has lifted 22-year prohibition on federal research into gun violence, HHS must now act

NEW YORK—Today Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) joined with gun safety advocates and researchers at Lenox Hill Hospital to call on Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to direct  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) to immediately begin research into how we can combat and reduce gun violence research.

Previously, such research was prohibited by the Dickey Amendment, but the 2018 omnibus spending bill repealed the ban. In February, Secretary Azar publicly stated that he would direct the CDC to research gun violence. However, there has been no indication of when the research will begin, what kind of research will be conducted, and when the results will be available to the public.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis and we need our nation’s best public health researchers to help us find ways to reduce it,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “That is why we are calling on Secretary Azar to immediately direct the CDC to begin studying ways we can combat gun violence. Three months ago the Secretary said he supported such research, but we have heard nothing from him since. In the meantime, hundreds more people have been killed or wounded by guns and there was another school shooting in Texas just yesterday. It is time for the CDC to do what it does best so we can have the tools we need to start fighting back.”

“Without a repeal of the Dickey Amendment or an explicit allocation of monies for the CDC to study gun violence as a health crisis, the language in the omnibus spending bill remains hollow,” said John Grauwiler, Organizer for Gays Against Guns. “We demand a transparent and clear funding plan for the CDC to study gun violence freely and an end to the chess game Congress, Alex Azar, and President Trump are playing at the expense of American lives- including the 10 lives lost in Santa Fe yesterday.”

 

Background

On May 15, Rep. Maloney sent a letter to Sec. Azar asking how he plans to use CDC funds to study gun violence. A PDF can be found here.

Maloney has long supported sensible gun safety reforms, starting with support of The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, named for President Reagan’s press secretary, Jim Brady, who suffered grievous injuries in the assassination attempt on the President. That law provides for background checks for most handgun purchases, and has stopped thousands of dangerous individuals from buying firearms.

Since that historic legislation, Congresswoman Maloney has pushed several key bills to crack down on gun violence by making gun trafficking a federal crime, allowing federal public health agencies to conduct research into gun safety, closing the gun show loophole, supporting innovative “smart gun” technology, and to strengthen the NICS review system to keep guns out of the hands of those we have determined should not own them. She has also cosponsored legislation to require universal background checks, limit the number of rounds in magazine clips, and renew the expired assault weapons ban.

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