NATIONAL NEWS

Congress Agrees To Millions In Gun Violence Research For First Time In Decades.

Dec 17, 2019, 10:37 AM
The $25 million for federal research into gun violence that's included in the massive spending bill...
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

(CNN) — The $25 million for federal research into gun violence that’s included in the massive spending bill agreed to on Capitol Hill represents the first time in over two decades that Congress has allocated funding for the issue.

The House will vote Tuesday on the $1.4 trillion spending deal that includes $12.5 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $12.5 million for the National Institutes of Health. The funding comes as the nation continues to grapple with the effects of frequent mass shootings.

“With this investment, the best public health researchers in the country will be put to work to identify ways to reduce injury and death due to firearms,” Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee who secured the funding in the spending bill, said in a statement.

The provision maintains the long-standing prohibition on any funds being used to advocate or promote gun control.

Once the spending deal clears the House, it will need to be approved by the Senate before it can go to President Donald Trump for his expected signature.

“We applaud Congress for finally providing the critical funding we have been requesting,” Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said in a statement Monday. “This will support public health research that is essential to answering questions about the best ways to reduce the morbidity and mortality from firearms in the United States.”

Dr. Robert McLean, the president of the American College of Physicians, applauded the funding bill and said in a statement that “the alarming rate of injuries and deaths related to firearms brings to light the glaring lack of research and data.”

“For over twenty years, we’ve desperately needed up-to-date research about firearm violence and intervention and prevention strategies to reduce physical as well as emotional injuries caused by firearms,” McLean said.

“While $25 million is a great start, it pales in comparison to the amount needed to address this public health problem,” said Dr. Joseph Sakran, the founder of This Is Our Lane, a movement started by physicians in response to the National Rifle Association.

For more than two decades, the CDC has avoided firearms research because of its interpretation of the so-called Dickey Amendment, named after the late Republican Rep. Jay Dickey of Arkansas.

In 1996, Congress passed the Dickey Amendment and removed $2.6 million — the amount the CDC spent on gun research the year prior — from the CDC’s budget.

While the legislation doesn’t explicitly ban federal research funds from being used for research related to gun violence, it states, “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

The amendment had a chilling effect on gun research at the CDC as the agency held back to avoid losing further funding.

But before he passed away in 2017, Dickey reversed his position and urged the government to carry out research on gun violence.

The National Rifle Association has argued that the amendment itself didn’t prevent gun violence research — only advocacy — and therefore does not need any changes.

Last year, Congress passed a spending bill accompanied by language giving a green light to the CDC to research gun violence — although there was no money specifically budgeted for the research.

“While appropriations language prohibits the CDC and other agencies from using appropriated funding to advocate or promote gun control, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has stated the CDC has the authority to conduct research on the causes of gun violence,” the accompanying instructions stated, referring to Secretary Alex Azar’s 2018 comments to Congress.

The Democratic-controlled House in February passed a universal background checks bill, HR 8, which would require background checks on all firearm sales in the country. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not bring any gun bill to the Senate for a vote unless Trump says he would sign it into law.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

FILE: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news briefing at the Pentagon July 21,...
TARA COPP, Associated Press

Keep COVID military vaccine mandate, defense chief says

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is making clear he wants to keep the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place to protect the health of the troops.
1 day ago
(Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)...
Brian Fung, CNN

Released Twitter emails show how employees handled 2020 New York Post Hunter Biden story

Elon Musk teased Twitter users a few days ago with the promise of information on Twitter's content moderation policies, now known as the "Twitter Files."
1 day ago
The former Utah man and pilot, Dan Ragan....
KSL TV

Utah resident remembers pilot killed in Dallas Air Show crash

The former Utah man who tragically passed away in a deadly air show crash in Texas is being remembered by neighbors and friends. 
1 day ago
Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, a driver working for FedEx was arrested and charged in the kidnapping and k...
Tina Burnside, CNN

Texas FedEx driver is arrested in the kidnapping and killing of a 7-year-old girl

A driver working for FedEx was arrested and charged Friday in the kidnapping and killing of a 7-year-old girl who had disappeared from her home's driveway in Texas earlier this week, police said.
1 day ago
Noodle, the pug, is held....
Zoe Sottile, CNN

Noodle, the TikTok-famous ‘bones or no bones’ pug, has died

(CNN) — Noodle, the geriatric pug who captured hearts across the internet for his “bones or no bones” ritual, has died at age 14, his owner says. Jonathan Graziano, Noodle’s owner, announced that his beloved dog died on Friday, in a tearful update posted to his TikTok and Instagram. “This is incredibly sad, it’s incredibly […]
1 day ago
Rapper Takeoff with a microphone...
LEKAN OYEKANMI and JAKE BLEIBERG Associated Press

Man arrested in fatal shooting of Migos rapper Takeoff

Police in Texas have announced an arrest in last month's shooting death of the performer Takeoff. Houston police said Friday that 33-year-old Patrick Xavier Clark was charged with murder and has been arrested in connection with the rapper's death. Born Kirsnick Khari Ball, Takeoff was the youngest member of Migos, the Grammy-nominated rap trio from suburban Atlanta that also featured his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset. Police have said the 28-year-old was fatally shot outside a bowling alley after a private party. Police said Friday that the shooting followed a dispute over a game of dice, but that Takeoff was not involved and was an innocent bystander.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Congress Agrees To Millions In Gun Violence Research For First Time In Decades.