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Doctors’ group urges Congress to lift ban on gun violence research

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h6672 (Published 08 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6672
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

More than 5000 doctors have signed a petition asking the US Congress to lift a 20 year ban preventing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from conducting research into gun violence.

“Scientific data have saved lives from motor vehicle accidents, sudden infant death syndrome, lead poisoning, and countless other threats to people’s health,” the petition notes, yet the government has remained wilfully ignorant about the epidemiology of gun violence since 1996, when the Dickey Amendment stipulated that “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.”

The ban grew out of a seminal 1993 research paper, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which measured gun ownership as a risk factor for homicide in the home.1 The article received widespread media …

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