News: National Gun Safety Organizations Endorse Murphy’s Bill to Help Reduce Gun Violence

Legislation Would Allow CDC to Research Causes of and Solutions to Gun Violence

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Washington, March 29, 2017 | comments

Seven leading national gun safety organizations endorsed legislation by Florida Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy that would help reduce gun violence through research.  Sandy Hook Promise, Americans for Responsible Solutions and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Doctors for America, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence are all urging Congress to pass Murphy’s bill, the Gun Violence Research Act, H.R. 1478.  The bill would allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to research the root causes of gun violence as well as medical advancements to reduce gun deaths. Murphy introduced her bill earlier this month, and it was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“Grassroots momentum for our bill is growing because Americans are demanding action – and we know research saves lives,” said Murphy. “Sadly, too many communities and families are being torn apart by gun violence, and we need research to stop this violence before it starts and to reduce fatalities when it happens.  Good policymaking should be based on facts, not fear, and my bill would give us facts.  I am grateful for the support from these leading gun safety organizations, and I will keep fighting around the clock to keep our communities and our children safe.”

Murphy’s bill would repeal a 1996 provision that has essentially prevented the CDC and other HHS agencies from conducting research on gun-related incidents.  The research, Murphy said, would allow lawmakers to craft policy based on evidence and facts, not partisanship or misperceptions.  Each year, about 33,000 Americans die in gun-related incidents, and twice as many are wounded, according to federal statistics. Nearly 35 percent of the gun-related deaths in this country are homicides, and over 60 percent of gun deaths are suicides. 

Mark Barden, Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise, said: “We have a gun violence epidemic in this country and it couldn’t be more personal. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how the shooting that took the life of my sweet little Daniel could have been prevented. It is simply unconscionable that Congress continues to block our taxpayer dollars from finding new answers and strategies that could save tens of thousands of lives a year and keep our families and communities safe. The Gun Violence Research Act would put an end to this harmful policy and begin making the great strides we so desperately need to combat gun violence.”

Robin Lloyd, Director of Government Affairs, Americans for Responsible Solutions, said: “As a nation, we cannot appropriately address the public health crisis of gun violence crisis until we fully understand it. We know that more than 30,000 people die from gunfire every year, but the federal ban on research into our nation’s gun violence crisis is preventing us from developing the practical, data-driven solutions that we need to save lives. We thank Representative Murphy for her leadership in urging Congress to end this ban and we call on members of Congress to come together and pass this commonsense bill.”

Sarah Tofte, Research Director for Everytown for Gun Safety, said: “For more than two decades, Congress has abdicated the federal government's leadership role in gun violence prevention research – a result of repeated campaigns by the gun lobby and its congressional allies to stop gun violence prevention by cutting it off at the root. Especially egregious is Congress's gutting of the CDC's funding of gun violence research, effectively eliminating the agency's work on a crisis that kills more than 90 Americans and injures hundreds more every day. The legislation introduced by Representative Murphy to lift the budget rider on federal funding for gun violence research is an essential first step restoring the government leadership role in gun violence prevention.  It is imperative that Congress provide the long overdue funding to study the role of firearms on public health –  American lives are on the line.”

Dan Gross, President of The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said: “Gun violence is a public health crisis killing more than 33,000 Americans each year and we applaud Rep. Stephanie Murphy for leading by example in treating it as such. As the national conversation remains so focused on healthcare right now, all politicians should throw their support behind this effort to repeal such bitterly partisan restrictions on CDC research, for the good of the American people.” 

Dr. Nina Agrawal, Gun Violence Campaign Director for Doctors for America, said: “In America, we continue to lose an average of 91 lives a day due to gun violence. Doctors and medical students know that federal research has driven policy to save lives from our nation's most pressing public health challenges. We can do the same with gun violence if Congress will simply lift the barriers to research, so we can begin saving lives and preventing tragedies.” 

Joshua Horwitz, Executive Director for Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said: “The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) applauds Representative Murphy's push to put an end to the ban on federal funding for gun violence research.  American communities are disproportionately plagued by gun violence compared to other industrialized nations; comprehensive data and evidence are crucial to stop this epidemic and protect our communities. Limiting access to information and data about gun violence puts our communities at further risk. Overturning this irrational policy is long overdue.” 

Mark D. Jones, Project Director of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, said: “The members of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence (The Partnership) applaud Representative Murphy's efforts to make sure our public safety policies are informed by rigorous scientific research.” 

More information about the bill may be found at StephanieMurphy.house.gov.

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U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy represents Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes all of Seminole County and much of northern Orange County, including downtown Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, and the University of Central Florida. Previously, Murphy was a businesswoman and college instructor who also served as a national security specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she received numerous awards for her distinguished service, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. Murphy lives in Winter Park with her husband and two children.


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