On May 31, 146 Members of Congress signed a letter in support of eliminating appropriations riders that have prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from conducting research on gun violence prevention since 1996 (the “Dickey amendment”). The bipartisan letter, led by Rep. David Price (D-NC) states, “Although Members of Congress may disagree about how best to respond to the high incidence of gun violence, we should all be able to agree that our response should be informed by sound scientific evidence,” and argues that Congress should “allow the research community to investigate evidence-based solutions that could help prevent gun violence while still protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.” A letter in the Senate circulated in March by Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) also called for the CDC to conduct gun violence prevention research. In April, COSSA joined more than 100 other societies and organizations in calling for an end to the ban.
The gun control debate has been renewed with greater urgency after this weekend’s tragic mass shooting in Orlando. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised to force votes on loopholes allowing individuals on the terrorist watch list to purchase guns as part of the debate on the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Bill this week (for more on CJS, see related story).