12.16.2019 Criminal Justice
Arnold Ventures Applauds Congress for Bipartisan Agreement on Gun Violence Research Funding, Ending Decades-Long Stalemate
Washington, D.C. — Arnold Ventures applauds Congress for taking substantive action to prevent gun violence by appropriating $25 million in research funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. This milestone funding decision comes after two “lost decades” since the Dickey Amendment was erroneously interpreted to forbid gun violence research in 1996.
Even more historic is what made this progress possible: A bipartisan coalition of supporters inside of Congress and in the community. For years, public voices from every sector in America — law enforcement officials, school leaders, veterans, academics, and grassroots organizers — have pointed to research as a critical first step toward creating evidence-based gun policy that can actually save lives. Funding rigorous research is an approach all of those interested in addressing America’s gun violence epidemic can agree on.
Arnold Ventures Executive Vice President of Criminal Justice Jeremy Travis:
“This is a tremendous victory and a historic day. I witnessed the Dickey Amendment pass up close as the Director of the National Institute for Justice, and since then I have watched our country pay dearly for generations of lost knowledge about how to prevent one of America’s leading causes of death. Now, for the first time in over two decades, the U.S. Congress is explicitly appropriating funds for research on gun violence — research that will be critical to saving lives and making the nation a safer place. Even more critically, this funding has bipartisan support. It is a new day in Washington.”
In 2018, Arnold Ventures launched the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, managed by RAND Corporation, to foster rigorous research on basic questions surrounding gun violence and start to fill in critical gaps in knowledge. Separately, Arnold Ventures advocated for federal funding to support research at a scale commensurate with the problem — something only the federal government has the power to do.
In September, Arnold Ventures worked with 30 federal prosecutors and senior government officials to issue a letter urging congress to fund gun violence research.
About Arnold Ventures’ work on gun violence research:
America is facing an epidemic of gun violence, with an average of 106 people killed every day. Because the federal government underinvested in gun violence research for more than two decades, lawmakers lack basic information critical to crafting fair and effective gun policies. We need this research to make our country and schools safer.
Because we believe this is a crisis in need of urgent attention and resources, we launched the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research in partnership with RAND Corp., a nonpartisan and widely-respected research institution. Research findings will be provided to policymakers and other leaders to help inform effective policies that increase public safety while protecting the country’s Second Amendment rights.