Quigley, other House Democrats target gun-violence research funding ban
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Dist. 5) joined 109 fellow Democratic House members recently in urging House leaders to discontinue the longtime de facto ban on federal funding for research related to U.S. gun violence.
The lawmakers said this ban has resulted in very limited academic research into the causes of gun violence and its impact on public health. They also said the lack of research has weakened efforts to improve community safety and draft bipartisan gun-reform bills.
“Our nation is facing an epidemic of gun violence, and for many of the residents in my hometown of Chicago, gun violence is not just a headline – gun violence is an everyday reality," Quigley said. "These restrictions cut off the debate on guns and resign our country to the status quo.”
The ban on gun-violence research was implemented in 1996 at the urging of former U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey (R-AR), who has since reversed his stance on the legislation, arguing that "if we had somehow gotten the research going, we could have somehow found a solution to the gun violence without there being any restrictions on the Second Amendment.”
Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee offered an amendment this year to end the ban, but the measure was voted down, largely along party lines.
“Conducting unbiased, comprehensive research to better understand the epidemic of gun violence is necessary to ensure the safety of the American people,” Quigley said. “We have to be able to talk openly about gun violence to effectively address public-safety issues and keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.”
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