NASP Urges Congress to Lift the Ban on Federal Research Related to Gun Violence

By: Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach, NASP Director, Government Relations

For nearly 20 years, a ban, known as the Dickey Amendment, has banned the use of federal funds to conduct comprehensive scientific research about the effects of firearms ownership on public health and the causes of gun violence. This ban has tied the nation's hands in terms of finding a solution to this serious public health epidemic.   NASP released this letter urging members of Congress to remove this  ban and improve the availablilty of high quality, rigorous research regarding gun violence.  Data-based decision making, not politics, must inform our public health strategies and related public policies.  It is imperative that our federal leaders bring every possible resource to bear in addressing this public health crisis. Federal safety and health agencies must be empowered to conduct comprehensive research into the causes of and solutions to this unacceptable source of harm to our children, families, and communities.