A new House bill unveiled this week would lift a ban on allowing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes of gun violence.

{mosads}Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), the bill’s author, said that allowing a public health agency to study the causes of gun deaths would offer a “data-driven approach” to preventing violence.

“How many times must we bury our loved ones from senseless acts of gun violence before we pass commonsense legislation to understand the problem our society is facing?” Honda said in a statement.

The CDC’s self-imposed prohibition has been in place since 1996.

In the 1990s, the National Rifle Association accused the CDC of trying to use scientific studies to promote gun control, such as one that found having a gun in the home increased the odds for injury.

Congress later threatened to cut the CDC’s budget by the same amount the CDC was spending on gun violence research. Lawmakers also enacted legislative language prohibiting the use of funds to “advocate or promote gun control.”

The CDC has since then shied away from pursuing the topic.

Republicans have continued to defend the ban.

“The CDC is there to look at diseases that need to be dealt with to protect public health,” former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said earlier this year. “I’m sorry, but a gun is not a disease. Guns don’t kill people — people do. And when people use weapons in a horrible way, we should condemn the actions of the individual and not blame the action on some weapon.”

But others have suggested openness to allowing gun violence research. GOP presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said last week that “more information is better.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last month called for a select committee to investigate gun violence in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at an Oregon community college. 

Tags Boehner John Boehner
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video