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Democrats Push to Restart CDC Funding for Gun Violence Research

guns 2 300x200 Democrats Push to Restart CDC Funding for Gun Violence ResearchBy Lois Beckett

Two Congressional Democrats are unveiling legislation that would restart the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s gun violence research efforts.

Since 1996, when a small CDC-funded study on the risks of owning a firearm ignited opposition from Republicans, the CDC’s budget for research on firearms injuries has shrunk to zero.

The result, as we’ve detailed, is that many basic questions about gun violence – such as how many Americans are shot each year – remain unanswered.

The new legislation, which will be introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) in the House, and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in the Senate, would give the CDC $10 million a year “for the purpose of conducting or supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.”

“In America, gun violence kills twice as many children as cancer, and yet political grandstanding has halted funding for public health research to understand this crisis,” Maloney said in a statement.

A National Rifle Association spokeswoman called the push for new CDC funding “unethical.”

“The abuse of taxpayer funds for anti-gun political propaganda under the guise of ‘research’ is unethical,” spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen said in a statement to ProPublica. “That is why Congress should stand firm against President Obama’s scheme to undermine a fundamental constitutional right.”

Maloney, who co-sponsored the 1994 assault weapons ban, is a long-time gun control advocate. Earlier this year, she and Markey encouraged President Obama to include CDC funding in his proposed 2015 budget, which he did.

Obama’s proposal has been opposed by key Republicans, and so far, Markey and Maloney’s legislation has not attracted any Republican support. “On the House side, we have over 20 co-sponsors already. We do not have a Republican,” Maloney said at a press conference this morning.

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