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  • 04.06.16

It’s been 20 years since the CDC seriously studied gun violence, but that may change

Nearly 150 health groups—including the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the American Academy of Pediatrics—have signed an open letter urging Congress to do away with legislation that prevents the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun violence:

Medical professionals and our communities work to address the devastating and long-lasting physical and emotional effects of gun violence on victims, their families and their friends, but are hampered by the insufficient body of evidence-based research to use to point communities toward proven gun violence prevention programs and policies.

In 1996, the Dickey Amendment stipulated that CDC research could not “advocate or promote gun control.” That effectively halted gun research, as CDC departments did not want to risk running afoul of the law. RP