Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) today called on the Rules Committee to allow the House of Representatives to vote on their amendment addressing gun violence. The representatives' amendment would end the current de facto ban on research into gun-related injuries and death at Health and Human Services Department (HHS) and the restraints that keep the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from disclosing firearm trace data.
"This amendment is a common sense step that can be taken immediately to address the issue of gun violence in America," said DeLauro, Ranking Member of the subcommittee that funds with the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. "The overwhelming tragedy in Newtown made clear that Congress needs to take action to prevent future gun violence. These restrictions have had a chilling effect on our ability to fully understand the causes of gun violence and how best to address it. I hope the Rules Committee does the right thing and allows the House of Representatives to vote on ending this intimidation through legislation."
"Republicans can no longer put the gun lobby before the well-being of our communities and our children," said Lee. "Repealing the Tiahrt Amendments along with comprehensive gun control are a critical pieces of the solution to gun violence. By allowing HHS to research the effects of gun violence, we will be equipped with the information we need to prevent gun violence that plagues our communities and our nation. It will also support law enforcement by giving them the tools to monitor handgun sales in an effort to ensure guns stay with law abiding citizens and out of the hands of criminals and perpetuators of violence."
Current law has effectively prevented HHS from conducting research or statistical analysis related to gun violence since 1997, hampering the federal government's ability to collect data on gun violence to help prevent related death or injury. Current law also prevents ATF from disclosing firearm trace data and multiple handgun sales reports for any purpose besides supporting ATF enforcement of the Gun Control Act or other law enforcement efforts. Simply put, since 1997, the federal government's ability to collect data on gun violence has been severely hampered.