WASHINGTON–U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined 23 of their Senate colleagues in reintroducing legislation that would fund research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to better understand and address the nation’s ongoing gun violence epidemic, a public health crisis which in the past five years has taken the lives of more than 180,000 people across the United States. Specifically, the Gun Violence Prevention Research Act would authorize $50 million each fiscal year over the next five years to boost the CDC’s firearms safety and gun violence prevention research – building upon already successful efforts to secure a total of $100 million for federal gun violence prevention research between fiscal years 2020 and 2023.
Currently, the CDC is supporting more than 20 individual research projects dedicated to the study of gun violence prevention – including research on understanding the unique harms posed to young people, mitigating gun violence in highest-risk communities, and stopping firearm suicides among military service members and veterans, and more.
“The CDC is doing really important work to help us better understand the root causes of gun violence, the lasting impact on survivors and their communities, and the best practices for prevention and intervention programs. The gun violence epidemic is a public health crisis, and we’ve got to keep investing in the CDC’s ability to conduct research that will help save lives,” said Murphy.
“The more we know about gun violence, the more prepared we can be to prevent it. This research will tell us where gun violence is most prevalent and where we can act most effectively to prevent it. This fact finding has been long opposed and suppressed by the gun lobby and we are now playing catch up. Common sense reforms like an assault weapons ban and safe storage laws are vital, but we also need robust funding to study this epidemic. This week’s shooting in Nashville took the lives of more innocent children and Congress should not look away and ignore the carnage in their own neighborhoods and states,” said Blumenthal.
The Gun Violence Prevention Research Act is endorsed by Brady, Everytown, March For Our Lives, Stop Handgun Violence, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, and Giffords.
“Gun violence traumatizes communities everyday in every state across our nation, with communities of color affected disproportionately,” said Sonya Coleman, Board Chair of States United to Prevent Gun Violence. “SUPGV and our 31 grassroots state organizations work to ensure change happens. Research on firearms safety and gun violence prevention is vital to advance effective legislation that will reduce gun deaths and injuries.”
Joining Murphy and Blumenthal, U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) sponsored the legislation.