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NIH Seeks Revision Applications to Support Firearms Injury Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a Notice of Special Interest soliciting competitive revision applications to programs that could potentially include firearms injury and mortality prevention research. This notice comes in the wake of NIH receiving $12.5 million dollars for research studying firearms injury and mortality prevention in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Appropriations bill (see COSSA’s analysis). Like all federal agencies, NIH is legislatively restricted from using its funding for certain activities such as advocating for gun control policies, but is able to fund research topics aiming to understand the underlying risk factors and variables. Topics cited by the NIH notice as within the permitted scope of research include:

  • Improving the ability to identify at-risk individuals for firearm injury and mortality;
  • Developing healthcare procedures to accurately screen for risk of firearm injury and mortality;
  • Understanding factors that are associated with firearm injury and mortality risk and resilience;
  • Developing evidence-based interventions to address risk; and
  • Assessing the public health and criminal justice systems’ approaches towards the reduction of firearm injury and mortality.

Revision applications will be accepted through May 15, 2020. More information is available on the NIH website.

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Posted in Issue 7 (March 31), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

Chairwoman Johnson Introduces Gun Violence Research Act

On January 11, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, introduced the National Gun Violence Research Act. If enacted, the law would create a national gun violence research program overseen by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and carried out by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice. In a statement released after the bill was introduced, Rep. Johnson said that more research is needed on the impact of policies on gun violence and that investment in gun violence is needed to curb gun violence. More information can be found on the Science Committee website.

The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, a private research effort, recently announced a request for proposals on the causes and consequences of gun violence. More information can be found in COSSA’s previous coverage.

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Posted in Issue 2 (January 22), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Gun Violence Research Collaborative Releases First Request for Proposals

The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research (NCGVR), a private research effort backed by philanthropic donors (see previous coverage), has released its first request for proposals. NCGVR plans to fund research across seven broad topics: (1) characterizing firearm use, violence, and crime; (2) characterizing firearm suicide; (3) characterizing officer-involved shootings; (4) community law enforcement, and service systems interventions to reduce gun violence; (5) effects of gun regulation within and across state; (6) collection of data needed for understanding gun violence and evaluating programs and policies; and (7) collection of state-level prosecution and enforcement data. Interested researcher should submit a letter of interest by February 4, 2019. Selected researchers will be invited to submit full proposals. Full details can be found in the NCGVR request for proposals.

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 8), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research Seeks Recommendations for Areas of Study

The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, an effort backed by philanthropic donors, will issue the first of four annual requests for proposals in January 2019 and is seeking input from researchers on areas of focus for gun-policy research funding. The annual request for proposals will be comprised of $20 million to $50 million awarded over a five-year period, with up to $10 million in research grant funding and dissertation research awards available in the first round. Researchers who would like to suggest areas of focus for gun-policy research funding can email and those interested in receiving alerts about funding opportunities can sign up at

The collaborative was launched by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and is administered by the RAND foundation under the direction of an independent advisory committee that will set research priorities and make all decisions on grant awards.

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Posted in Issue 23 (November 27), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

GAO Report on Firearm Storage Highlights Lack of Federal Funding for Gun Research

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report entitled Personal Firearms: Programs that Promote Safe Storage and Research on Their Effectiveness that compiles information on public and non-profit programs promoting safe storage of personal firearms and the results of research on the effectiveness of such programs. The report was produced at the request of 19 Democratic senators, including Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). The report finds that “there is relatively little research on safe firearm storage,” and that “lack of funding and data” is often cited as a primary reason. According to the report, funding shortages and instability has limited the research on firearm safety and storage that could have been conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The report cites an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that compared available funding and publication volume for research on various leading causes of death and found that “research on firearms receives disproportionately low funding and has fewer publications compared to other top causes of death.” The lack of funding can lead to shortage of expertise in the field. One researcher interviewed told the GAO that “he discourages new students from firearm research exclusively because they will not be able to make a living in that research area alone.” Further, a shortage of high-quality data on firearms exacerbates the difficulty of conducting research in this area. The CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) has not included questions related to firearm safety since 2004. However, the CDC does plan to add a module on firearms in the 2017 survey, on the recommendation of the National Academy of Medicine.

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Posted in Issue 21 (October 31), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Lawmakers Call for CDC Gun Research

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).

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Posted in Issue 12 (June 14), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

House Subcommittee Discusses CDC Budget; Director Questioned on Gun Violence, HIV/AIDS Research

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies met on March 25 to consider the administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget proposal for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In attendance was CDC Director Thomas Frieden, accompanied by Beth Bell, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases, and Anne Schuchat, Assistant Surgeon General and Director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) praised the CDC in his opening statement for protecting public health in the U.S. and abroad. He noted that while the CDC enjoys bipartisan support from the committee, sequestration remains in place for FY 2016 (at least for the time being) and expressed a desire to ensure taxpayer dollars are not spent on “politically motivated activities.” Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) also spoke about sequestration in her opening statement, calling it “disastrous” and pointing out that CDC has lost $1.35 billion (adjusted for inflation) since 2010. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 6 (April 7), Update, Volume 34 (2015)


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