Mayors Against Illegal Guns, co-founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, argues that “the federal government has surrendered its leadership over this area of crucial importance to public safety, shutting down firearm-related research in key agencies and all but allowing the gun lobby to shape our collective knowledge about gun violence.” Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and later the National Institutes of Health have faced restrictions on gun-related research.
The fight over the research dates back to 1996, when, after an NRA campaign against CDC gun-related activities, the House cut the agency’s budget by the exact amount spent on firearms-related research the prior year — $2.6 million. The law explicitly forbade the agency from using funds to advocate or promote gun control, according to the mayors group’s report.
“To make sound policy, you need good data. And the gun lobby has been blindfolding policymakers for better than a decade,” Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said. “The idea that somehow the public is kept safer by limiting what the public can know about crime guns and about the ways in which guns find their way from dealers into the criminal market is absurd, and I think people are starting to catch on to this.”
“Congress should be doing everything in its power to help further our understanding of why gun violence occurs, not impeding such efforts by inappropriately restricting scientific research,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), ranking member of the Labor, Education, Health, and Human Services Subcommittee, which produces the funding bill for health agencies.
- Scientists urge end to limits on gun safety research (todayonline.com)