Congress on Monday reached a federal spending deal that would allocate government funds toward gun-violence research for the first time in over 20 years. The $25 million in funding would be split across the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDP) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The funding is included in a $1.3 trillion federal spending deal that congressional negotiators that Congress is expected to pass later this week.
The funding is less than the $50 million the House authorized for gun violence and safety research in a budget bill it passed in June and is also much less than federal funding that goes to other areas of research. But the funding was seen as a major win for Democrats who have long pushed for dedicated funding to research the issue.
“Given violence and suicide have a number of causes, the agreement recommends the CDC take a comprehensive approach to studying these underlying causes and evidence-based methods of prevention of injury, including crime prevention,” the bill states. The same language is repeated in the bill for the NIH.
Congress stopped funding gun violence research in 1996 after Congress passed the Dickey Amendment, which barred federally funded research that would “advocate or promote gun control.” While the amendment did not prevent federal agencies from studying gun violence, that was its effect.
Publications of firearm violence research fell 64 percent during the decade and a half that followed the amendment, according to an analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2017.