Rep. Kelly: Gun violence research needed

Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), vice chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force introduced the Gun Violence Research Act before Congress.
 
She was joined by Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

The legislation would:
 
  • Amend the Dickey Amendment, which prohibits the use of funding at the Department of Health and Human Services to advocate gun control, to clarify that funds may be used to study gun violence, particularly as it relates to mental health
  • Mandate an annual Surgeon General’s report on the impact of gun violence on America’s public health
  • Require a report from the Office of Minority Health examining the impact of gun violence on public health in communities of color.
 
“For decades, the Dickey Amendment has silenced lifesaving research and suppressed the policy dialogue around common sense laws that can save American lives,” said Kelly, who represents Homewood and Flossmoor in Congress. “It’s time to let the science and research speak for itself so policymakers can enact the best policies to protect public safety and American families.”
 
Gun violence is a leading cause of death for African-Americans ages 1 through 44. While African-Americans comprise approximately 13 percent of the U.S. population, they experience nearly 24 percent of all firearm deaths and more than 54 percent of all firearm homicides.
 
The late Rep. Jay Dickey, who authored the legislation more than 20 years ago, later expressed regret that the rider prevented research on gun violence.

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