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Legislators Urge Use of Federal Funds for Gun Violence Research

December 13, 2017, 1:40 PM HST
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Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa joined more than 100 of her colleagues to urge Congressional leaders to strip language from the FY18 federal spending bills that prevent the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention from using public money to research the causes of gun violence and its effect on our communities.

“Five years ago today, Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut and opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults,” said Rep. Hanabusa. “Since then, Americans have struggled to make sense of gun violence in San Bernadino, Orlando, Las Vegas and too many neighborhoods that claim an average of 34,000 lives a year, far and away the highest number in the developed world.

“Law enforcement, public health officials, scientists and community members continue to collaborate on a peaceful path forward,” said Rep. Hanabusa. “Members of Congress do not often agree on how best to reduce America’s unacceptable amount of gun violence, but I would hope that we all agree that our policies and decision making should be rooted in sound scientific research. For the last 20 years, House appropriators have included language from the late Congressman Jay Dickey that essentially stopped the U.S. Centers for Disease Control from using federal funds to study the causes of gun violence and its effects on public health, the same type of research conducted to help develop policies that reduce domestic violence, motor vehicle injuries and address other public safety issues.

“Congressman Dickey changed his position before he passed, and I urge my colleagues to strip this language from the FY18 House Appropriations bill,” said Rep. Hanabusa. “We cannot continue moving on from mass shootings without taking action. We must develop evidence-based solutions that will help stop gun violence while maintaining the rights of law abiding gun owners.”

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