Tide turning against restrictions on federal gun research?
In the wake of the February 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the debate over gun control in the United States has again reached fever pitch. What’s often missing in that debate, however, is hard data on gun-related deaths.
In 1996, Congress passed a rider to the annual federal spending bill that prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from spending money on research that may be used to “advocate or promote gun control.” Known as the Dickey amendment, after Jay Dickey, the Arkansas representative who sponsored it, the measure has remained in place ever since.
The Dickey amendment has not halted research on gun violence completely, as private foundations and universities have continued to explore the matter. Nonetheless, public-health organizations have started to push for overturning the amendment.