Letter to McConnell and Reid comes in the wake of the historic filibuster held by Senate Democrats to demand votes on legislation to address gun violence crisis after Orlando mass shooting

Washington (June 29, 2016) – As the Senate considers Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations legislation, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and 22 Democratic Senators are urging Senate leadership to remove from appropriations legislation any anti-gun violence prevention research riders, including a rider that is commonly known as the “Dickey amendment”. A 1996 Republican appropriations rider authored by former Congressman Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) prohibits federal funds from being used to “advocate or promote” gun control. Many have misconstrued the rider as banning federal research into the causes of gun violence. Rep. Dickey (R-Ark.) has publicly stated that he now supports funding gun violence prevention research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


“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 to Senate Leaders Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid. “As the Senate considers FY2017 appropriations bills, we urge you to remove this and any other anti-gun safety policy riders, and to support potentially life-saving funding for gun violence prevention research.”


A copy of the letter can be found HERE.


The letter was also signed by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeffrey A. Merkley, (D-Ore.) Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Angus King (I-Maine), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) Tim Kaine, (D-Va.) Mark Warner, (D-Va.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.)


Senator Markey has introduced legislation with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) that would provide $10 million in funding each year for six years at the CDC to conduct or support research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.