WASHINGTON – In a letter sent last week, Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and 16 Senators urged 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 stand in the way of researching the epidemic of gun violence. Earlier this year, Senate Democrats called on appropriators to hold a hearing on funding 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,” write the Senators in the letter.
A copy of the letter on CDC gun violence research funding can be found HERE.
Other Senators signing the letter include: 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.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).