Enable the CDC to Research Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue

Mar 13, 2018
  • Description

For two decades, as the result of a coordinated attack by the gun lobby, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been hamstrung from researching gun violence as a public health crisis. In 1996, congressional allies of the gun lobby added a rider to the CDC budget that prevented the agency from spending any funds to "advocate or promote gun control." At the same time, Congress reduced the funding appropriated to the CDC by $2.6 mil-lion—the exact amount that the CDC spent on gun violence research the previous year. In 2011, a similar rider was added to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget. The combination of the rider and a lack of dedicated funding has had a substantial chilling effect on research into gun violence.