Markey and Maloney Applaud President’s Inclusion of $10 Million in Budget for CDC Gun Violence Research

Washington (March 4, 2014)Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) today applauded the President for heeding their call to include $10 million for gun violence research in the Department of Health and Human Services Fiscal Year 2015 budget request. Maloney and Markey wrote to the President to request the funding in February. The President lifted a 17-year ban on federal gun violence research in 2013.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis, and we should attack it with all the urgency and resources it demands,” said Senator Markey. “This research funding will ensure we have better data about what causes gun violence and what can be done to prevent it. I commend President Obama for this critical investment, which will help us make progress towards keeping our neighborhoods and communities safer.”

“For years the gun lobby has successfully muzzled any federal research into the causes of gun violence, and it’s time that comes to end,” said Rep. Maloney. “This small investment in research will help us better understand the causes of gun violence, making it easier to develop constructive solutions.”

In January 2013, Maloney and then-Representative Markey authored and introduced H.R. 321, the Firearm Safety and Public Health Research Act, which would allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct scientific research into firearm safety.

Since the mid-1990s, federal funding for gun violence research has almost halted entirely in response to pressure from the pro-gun lobby. As a result, policymakers, doctors, counselors, and others lack comprehensive, scientific information about the causes and characteristics of gun violence, or the best strategies to prevent future tragedies. In 2012, the CDC devoted just $100,000 to gun violence research, yet according to the Department of Justice guns are involved in 70 percent of homicides, and kill or injure tens of thousands each year, including one child every 34 minutes. Last year, over 100 leading public health researchers sent a letter to Vice President Biden’s Commission on Gun Violence urging investment in scientific research to address the paltry basic research on gun violence.

The text of the letter from Markey and Maloney to President Obama can be found here.

The $10 million in funding is noted on page 36 of the HHS Fiscal Year 2015 Budget in Brief document, which can be found here.