Washington (September 12, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today was joined by Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) in a letter to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) inquiring into the current state of research at the agency on the causes and prevention of gun violence. In 2013, President Obama lifted the 17-year ban on federal gun violence research and directed the CDC to conduct or sponsor research in this area. In summer 2013, the Institute of Medicine released a report requested by the CDC that details a comprehensive, multi-year research agenda into the issue of gun violence. 


“Gun violence kills or injures more than 10,000 children a year. It kills more than 30,000 people each year. It destroys families and damages communities. It is a public health crisis in every sense of the word, and it is critical that we treat it is as such,” write the Senators in the letter to Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC. “Part of these efforts must include serious substantive research into the problem of gun violence in order to better craft additional strategies with which to combat it.”


A copy of the letter to the CDC can be found HERE.


In the letter to the CDC, the Senators request responses to question that include: 


  • What implementation plans, budgets, timelines and milestones have been developed to the study of the cause of gun violence? 
  • Has the CDC constituted a dedicated gun violence research team or working group, task force or other formalized staff effort on gun violence research and prevention? 
  • What are the barriers to implementation of a gun violence research agenda, including staffing or funding barriers?
  • Have academic, non-governmental or private entities reached out to the CDC to offer assistance with a research effort?  


In May, Senator Markey and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced bicameral legislation to fund research at the CDC on gun violence prevention and firearms safety.  The legislation calls for $10 million each year for six years beginning in fiscal year 2015.