As the US Senate considers Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations legislation, Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and 22 other Democratic Senators are urging Senate leadership to remove from appropriations legislation any anti-gun violence prevention research riders, including a rider that is commonly known as the “Dickey amendment”.
A 1996 Republican appropriations rider authored by former Congressman Jay Dickey, R-Ark., prohibits federal funds from being used to “advocate or promote” gun control. Many have misconstrued the rider as banning federal research into the causes of gun violence, argue the Democrat Senators.
According to the Democrat Senators, Rep. Dickey, R-Ark., has publicly stated that he now supports funding gun violence prevention research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Only the United States government is in a position to establish an integrated public-health research agenda to understand the causes of gun violence and identify the most effective strategies for prevention,” wrote the Senators in a letter to Senate Leaders Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid. “As the Senate considers FY2017 appropriations bills, we urge you to remove this and any other anti-gun safety policy riders, and to support potentially life-saving funding for gun violence prevention research.”