New Legislation Would Create National Gun Violence Research Program
Last week, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Chair of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, reintroduced the National Gun Violence Research Act that would create a comprehensive approach to gun violence research involving multiple agencies. The bill would authorize additional funding for the National Science Foundation ($15M), the National Institute of Standards and Technology ($1M), the Department of Health and Human Services ($25M), and the Department of Justice ($3M) to conduct or support gun violence research.
Additionally, the bill removes limitations on the use of firearms tracing data by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, permits funds made available to the Department of Health and Human Services to be used for gun violence research and establishes a National Gun Violence Research Program at the National Science Foundation to encourage multidisciplinary collaboration and train the next generation of gun violence researchers.
Behavioral and brain science research is key to understanding the root causes of gun violence and identifying effective interventions. FABBS is currently working with other research and health-oriented organizations to request that Congress increase this appropriation to $50 million for fiscal year 2022. One such proposal from Senator Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Maloney (D-NY) , the Gun Violence Prevention Research Act, would provide $50 million to the CDC for gun violence research. There had been a de facto ban on federally funded gun violence research from 1996 until 2020, when Congress approved $25 million for the CDC and NIH to finance such efforts.