The following is a media release from Sen. Ed Markey, who was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. He is a Democrat.
WASHINGTON DC – With funding for federal gun violence prevention research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) beginning for the first time this past fall, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) this week applauded the inclusion of $25 million in the 2021 Fiscal Year package to continue that research.
Last year, the lawmakers were also successful in securing $25 million in the year-end spending bill to fund research on firearms safety and gun violence prevention, the first time Congress approved federal funding for the study of gun violence since an appropriations rider called the Dickey Amendment was put on the books in 1996.
“Despite the pandemic, gun violence is up in Massachusetts and around the country. We cannot accept that gun violence is pre-ordained, when we can know it can be prevented,” said Senator Markey. “This research funding is a critical step to understanding the causes of this scourge and putting an end to gun violence in our schools and neighborhoods. Research will help us create evidence-based solutions to this ongoing public health crisis.”
“Gun violence is a public health crisis that continues to destroy lives all across the country and has grown even worse during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “For years, I have worked to pass legislation directing federal funding toward health research into gun violence. I am encouraged that the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations package once again includes this much needed funding. This research can help save lives by proposing science-based solutions to end the gun violence epidemic.”
In January 2019, Senator Markey and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney co-authored the Gun Violence Prevention Research Act, legislation to fund research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on firearms safety and gun violence prevention. The legislation has been endorsed by a number of gun safety groups and health organizations.
“For too long the CDC has been prevented from studying the root causes of gun violence through legislation and lack of funding,” said John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence.
“This funding is an essential next step in ending an epidemic that takes 100 lives per day and wounds over 200 others. While state and local governments play an important role in ending gun violence, without the support, research and resources of the federal government focused on the problem, we are unlikely to solve it.” “Young people, survivors, and activists worked hard to secure this historic funding for the CDC and NIH,” said Eve Levenson, policy and government affairs manager at March for Our Lives. “But the fight is nowhere near over. We look to the new Congress and a new administration to join us in support of evidence-based solutions for our future. We thank all of those who worked to secure this funding, and hope we can continue to amplify the voices of young people who have experienced senseless and preventable tragedy.”
“This appropriations package proves that last year’s historic Congressional funding for gun violence research wasn’t a flash in the pan, but a sustained commitment from Congress to address gun violence in America,” said Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt. “We applaud Senator Markey for his leadership to ensure that this crucial research continues — especially during a pandemic that has made the gun violence crisis worse.”
“Americans have faced dueling public health crises this year, as a record number of Americans have died of gun violence even amidst the on-going coronavirus pandemic,” said Brady President Kris Brown. “The inclusion of this funding for research into gun violence to find evidence-based solutions is a vital step towards stopping this epidemic and saving lives. Brady applauds Senator Markey’s continued leadership for this funding for needed research.”
“Communities have faced overwhelming strain this year battling a novel viral pandemic and a familiar epidemic of gun violence,” said Giffords Federal Affairs Manager Katherine Phillips. A vaccine breakthrough has brought hope for tackling one of these challenges, but that will not stop gun violence. Solving this crisis requires a commitment to science, data, and evidence, and this bill recognizes that. The bill builds on the landmark decision last year to restart federal research into gun violence so we can truly understand the problem we’re trying to solve. As we head into a new year led by a new president, I’m optimistic that this dedication to saving lives will continue.”