Reps. Takano, Slotkin, Strickland, Sen. Markey Announce Legislation to Boost Gun Violence Prevention Research at CDC, Urge Stronger Action on Gun Safety in Wake of Tragic School Shooting
Washington, DC – As the nation reels from yet another tragic school shooting this week, Representatives Mark Takano (CA-39), Elissa Slotkin (MI-07), and Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today reintroduced 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.
“As our nation reels in the wake of another devastating shooting in Nashville just this week, we are reminded once more that action is needed to curb gun violence and save lives,” said Representative Takano. “The unfortunate reality is that no individual, no community, and no neighborhood is immune from the threat of gun violence. As a country, we must seek to understand why this violence is rampant, and further research why America is uniquely experiencing a crisis of this magnitude. It is high time we start combating this epidemic with effective and evidence-based solutions as a part of a holistic approach, which is why I’m introducing the Gun Violence Prevention Research Act.”
“I am outraged and horrified by the massacre in Nashville, which took the lives of three innocent children. We cannot keep living this way, and our children cannot keep dying this way,” said Senator Markey. “From our streets to our schools, it’s clear that Congress hasn’t yet done what it’s going to take to end this fatal crisis. Stopping the spread of our nation’s gun violence epidemic will require acting on the reforms we already know are essential, like an immediate assault weapons ban, while we simultaneously invest more to study the root causes of violence and develop evidence-based solutions. My legislation would bolster gun violence prevention research with the help of our nation’s top medical, scientific, and public health researchers, so that we can chart a path out of this public health crisis and save lives.”
“Gun violence is now the leading cause of death among American children, and in Oxford and at MSU, I’ve seen the long-term pain and trauma these tragedies inflict on entire communities,” said Representative Slotkin. “So have Dylan and Devin – the Oxford and MSU students joining us today who have survived both. We, as a society, need to step up and decide to protect our kids so that an entire generation of young Americans isn’t defined by gun violence. The bills I’m introducing today, including one that was written based on the circumstances of the shooting at MSU – are a step towards addressing this epidemic. Preventing more gun violence in our schools and on our streets is a matter of homeland security – not politics. These bills take concrete actions to make it harder for people to commit acts of violence with a gun. As elected officials, our most basic responsibility is to protect our children from the things that are truly harming them, and this package of legislation will help us save lives by addressing some of the root causes of the gun violence epidemic.”
“Make no mistake: gun violence is preventable. Republicans actively choose to watch children, mothers, fathers, and Americans gunned down in deference to the gun lobby,” said Representative Strickland. “We must root out the gun violence crisis in our nation. This legislation will simply treat gun violence as the public health crisis it is and allow us to research it so we can take steps toward saving lives.”
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.
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.”
"As we continue to experience record-high levels of gun violence in America, it is increasingly important to improve our understanding of gun incidents, identify the sources of firearms, and evaluate gun storage methods. This can only be done if the CDC is given adequate and sustained funding to conduct thorough, evidence-based research on this issue. Brady is grateful to Senator Markey, Representative Slotkin, and Representative Takano for championing data-driven solutions to this uniquely American problem," said Kris Brown, President of Brady.
“With gun violence claiming the lives of more than 48,000 Americans in 2021, it is critical that Congress invest in researching the causes and solutions to this devastating public health crisis. Deaths due to gun violence far outpace deaths due to other epidemics that have garnered substantial attention from the public health community. Throughout history, the most effective response to public health and safety problems has coupled comprehensive research efforts with policy reforms focused on identifying and mitigating risk. We thank Senator Markey and Representative Slotkin for introducing the Gun Violence Prevention Research Act to ensure that there is adequate funding for research into gun violence,” said Adzi Vokhiwa, Federal Affairs Director at Giffords.
“Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children and young people in America,” said Trevon Bosley, Board Member at March For Our Lives. “We deserve to live and thrive in communities free from such devastation. The Gun Violence Prevention Research Act is a step forward in reimagining public safety and studying the root causes of gun violence so we can work together to develop evidence-based solutions. I thank Senator Markey and Representative Slotkin for their leadership and hope legislators pass this meaningful legislation to save lives.”
Senate cosponsors include Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), 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), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gilibrand (D-N.Y.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.).
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