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Heinrich Calls For Repeal Of Dickey Amendment That Restricts CDC From Researching Gun Violence

Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Commentary: WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 20, 2018) - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) called for repeal of the Dickey Amendment - a policy enacted in 1996 that restricts the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from researching gun violence and its effects on public health.

"Our country is infuriated by the lack of action taken by Congress to combat the gun violence epidemic in America," said Sen. Heinrich. "How many people must die before Congress comes together and decides to do the right thing? How many families must mourn a loved one before Congress steps up and takes action? I am calling for the repeal of the Dickey Amendment because I am fed up with tragedies like the mass shootings in Parkland, Las Vegas, and Aztec. I am also heartsick over the estimated 91 Americans killed each day by gun violence."

Because of the Dickey Amendment, there has been almost no publicly funded research on gun violence, leaving lawmakers without critical studies needed to write legislation to combat this epidemic. Even the author of the amendment, former Congressman Jay Dickey, came to regret the piece of policy and called on Congress to reverse the law.

"After every mass shooting, we are cautioned to wait for the facts before we act. Because of the Dickey Amendment, we don't have the facts. Repealing the Dickey Amendment should be a no-brainer," continued Sen. Heinrich. "This is about using scientific information as our guiding light to combat the gun violence epidemic that is threatening our country. Lifting this ban will finally allow scientists to research solutions and give lawmakers the tools to make fact-based decisions on how to prevent the next tragedy. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this simple, commonsense proposal."