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What is the Dickey Amendment - Carlos Gamino
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

What is the Dickey Amendment?

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By Carlos Gamino

The Dickey Amendment, named after former Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Arkansas), says, “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

What that amendment does is prevents the CDC from researching gun violence at all. 

“In the area of what works to prevent shootings, we know almost nothing,” said Mark Rosenberg. In the mid-1990s, Rosenberg led the CDC’s gun violence research efforts.

Dickey, who led the effort to stop the CDC’s gun violence research in the 90s, changed his mind shortly before he died in 2017. He still wanted to promote gun rights, but said, “We need to turn this over to science and take it away from politics.”

It all started in 1993, when the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) performed a study that found that keeping guns in the house made people less safe. The National Rifle Association wasn’t very happy with that finding, so by 1996, the organization had lobbied Congress enough to have them strip every dollar of the $2.6 million they were allocated for gun violence research. 

Jay Dickey was the one who drafted the bill.

Even after the Newtown massacre in 2012, the Umpaqua Community College Shooting in 2015, and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in mid-February of this year, gun violence research is nil in the U.S. Congress has the power to revoke the Dickey Amendment any time, but so far, they’ve renewed it every year since its inception.

What Do You Think?

Do you think the U.S. should fund gun violence research in an effort to stop the mass shootings taking place more and more frequently? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share them on my Twitter feed or on Facebook.

Carlos Gamino