BCHC Joins Letter Calling for $60 Million in Federal Gun Violence Research Funding

April 2022

US Capitol dome. Photo by Adam Szuscik on Unsplash.

April 28, 2022

The Honorable Patrick Leahy
Chairman
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Richard Shelby
Vice Chairman
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
Chair
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Kay Granger
Ranking Member
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Leahy, Vice Chairman Shelby, Chair DeLauro, and Ranking Member Granger:

As you consider appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, the undersigned 288 national, state, and local medical, public health, and research organizations write to ask you to provide $35 million for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and $25 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct public health research into firearm morbidity and mortality prevention. We also encourage Congress to explore opportunities for building out and further supporting this research at all other appropriate agencies, to ensure that federally funded research can explore the full scope of this public health issue. A recent, rigorous report estimated that the federal government will need to spend approximately $100 million per year to fully fund a comprehensive research agenda on reducing gun violence.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, communities across the U.S. continue to suffer from the public health crisis of firearm-related injuries and deaths. In 2020, the most recent year for which we have data, firearm-related injuries led to 45,222 fatalities, an increase of nearly 15% over the previous year. A public health approach is urgently needed to promote health equity and address the disproportionate burden of firearm injuries on communities of color and to understand the strategies that can be most effective in preventing suicides, unintentional injuries, and interpersonal violence. The foundation of this approach is rigorous research that can accurately quantify and describe the facets of an issue and identify opportunities for reducing its related morbidity and mortality.

We would like to thank Congress for its continued support for this public health research in FY22, providing $12.5 million each to the CDC and NIH for the third consecutive fiscal year. These initial investments are a crucial step toward applying a public health approach to increasing gun safety and reducing firearm-related injuries and deaths, and we are excited to see these funds contributing to important research projects that are now underway. The CDC has made 18 awards for two- and three-year projects to improve scientific understanding of firearm related violence and to rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of prevention strategies. Several of these projects will conclude this year and provide insights on how to reduce suicide risk in U.S. Army soldiers and veterans and how to improve efforts to reduce urban firearm injuries, among other topics. The NIH is funding research on the determinants of firearm injury, the identification of those at risk, and the evaluation of innovative interventions.

These initial investments are important, but increased funding is still needed to overcome the decades-long lack of federal funding that set back our nation’s response to the public health issue of firearm-related morbidity and mortality. The agencies have received many more proposals than they are able to fund, and additional funding can generate research into important issues, such as the best ways to prevent unintended firearm injuries and fatalities among women and children; the most effective methods to prevent firearm-related suicides; the measures that can best prevent the next shooting at a school or public place; and numerous other vital public health questions.

Our groups strongly urge Congress to increase the funding level to $35 million for the CDC and $25 million for the NIH for firearm morbidity and mortality prevention research as part of FY 2023 appropriations. Continued and expanded funding could support the creation of additional, large, multi-year studies and accelerate the rebuilding of a research community that shrank in the decades before Congress restored this federal funding. Robust and sustained research on motor vehicle crashes and subsequent legislation has helped save hundreds of thousands of lives through public health interventions, including seat belts and other safety features. The same approach can help reduce firearm-related injuries in our communities, including ensuring that the CDC and NIH are able to adequately fund non-biased, evidence based research into this public health priority. Exploring additional agencies to fund for this work would also ensure this research can address all necessary areas of inquiry and move us closer to the approximately $100 million necessary annually to fully support this research field.

Our organizations stand ready to work with you to support this critical effort. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

National Organizations

AANS/CNS Joint Section on Neurotrauma & Critical Care
AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery
Academic Pediatric Association
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Neurology
American Academy of Nursing
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Anthropological Association
American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
American College of Emergency Physicians
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Physicians
American College of Surgeons
American Educational Research Association
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
American Medical Association
American Medical Student Association
American Medical Women’s Association
American Muslim Health Professionals
American Nurses Association
American Osteopathic Association
American Pediatric Society
American Pediatric Surgical Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
American School Counselor Association
American Society for Clinical Pathology
American Society of Pediatric Nephrology
American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons
American Sociological Association
American Thoracic Society
American Trauma Society
Association for Prevention Teaching and Research
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs
Association of Population Centers
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
Big Cities Health Coalition
Brain Injury Association of America
Catholic Health Association of the United States
Child Injury Prevention Alliance
Children’s Health Fund
Children’s Hospital Association
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Council of Pediatric Subspecialties
Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
Council on Social Work Education
Doctors for America
Emergency Nurses Association
Family Centered Treatment Foundation
First Focus Campaign for Children
Futures Without Violence
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality
Healthy Teen Network
International Association of Forensic Nurses
Jewish Federations of North America
Kids and Car Safety
MomsRising
Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health
National Association of County and City Health Officials
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Association of School Nurses
National Association of School Psychologists
National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials
National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
National Network of Public Health Institutes
National Organization for Women
National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives
National PTA
National Safety Council
Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
Pediatric Endocrine Society
Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America
Pediatric Policy Council
Population Association of America
Prevention Institute
Public Health Institute
Research!America
Safe States Alliance
Sandy Hook Promise
Scoliosis Research Society
Scrubs Addressing the Firearm Epidemic, Inc. (SAFE)
Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
Society for Pediatric Anesthesia
Society for Pediatric Research
Society for Prevention Research
Society for Public Health Education
Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR)
Society of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
Society of General Internal Medicine
The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)
The American Psychoanalytic Association
The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Trust for America’s Health
Ujima Inc., The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community YMCA of the USA
Youth Villages

State and Local Organizations

AIDS Foundation Chicago
Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatrics – Arizona Chapter
American Academy of Pediatrics California Chapter 1
American Academy of Pediatrics California Chapter 2
American Academy of Pediatrics New York Chapter 2
American Academy of Pediatrics New York Chapter 3
American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter
American Academy of Pediatrics, Alaska Chapter
American Academy of Pediatrics, Colorado Chapter
American Academy of Pediatrics, Hawaii Chapter
American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Chapter
American Academy of Pediatrics, Utah Chapter
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Arizona Public Health Association
Arkansas Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Atrium Health
Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center
Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist
Brain Injury Association of America-Kentucky Chapter
Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City
Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts
California ACEP
Cambridge Public Health Department
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center
Cedar Rapids NOW
Chicago Department of Public Health
Children’s Home & Aid
Children’s Wisconsin
Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance
Colorado Public Health Association
Columbia University Scientific Union for the Reduction of Gun Violence, Teachers College
Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians
Connecticut Public Health Association
DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Delaware Academy of Medicine / Delaware Public Health Association
Delaware Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
District of Columbia ACEP Chapter
Duke Health
FL0365 Pasco County National Organization for Women, Inc.
Florida Chapter – American Academy of Pediatrics
Florida College of Emergency Physicians
Georgia Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Greater New York Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Hawaii ACEP Chapter
Hawaii Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Hawaii Public Health Association
Idaho Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Idaho College of Emergency Physicians
Illinois Academy of Family Physicians
Illinois Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Illinois Public Health Association
Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Indiana Public Health Association
Iowa ACEP Chapter
Iowa Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Iowa Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Iowa Public Health Association
Johns Hopkins University
Kansas Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Kentucky Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Kentucky Public Health Association
Lee County Chapter of NOW
Legal Council for Health Justice
Los Angeles, California Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Louisiana Public Health Association
Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians
Maine Public Health Association
Maryland ACEP Chapter
Maryland Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Maryland Public Health Association
Maryland-Chesapeake Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Massachusetts Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Massachusetts Public Health Association
Medical College of Wisconsin
Mental Health America of Hawaii
Michigan Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Michigan Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Minnesota Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Mission Health
Mission Hospital
Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Mississippi Public Health Association
Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Missouri Public Health Association
Montana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Moses Cone Hospital
National Organization for Women, Columbia Area
National Organization for Women, Missouri
NC National Organization for Women (NC NOW)
NC Public Health Association
Nebraska ACEP
Nebraska Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Nevada Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Nevada Public Health Association
New Hampshire Academy of Family Physicians
New Hampshire Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
New Hampshire Psychiatric Society
New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center
New Jersey Local Boards of Health Association
New Mexico Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians
New Mexico Pediatric Society
New York State American Academy of Pediatrics District II
New York State Public Health Association
NJ Public Health Association
North Carolina Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
North Carolina Chapter of the American College of Surgeons
North Carolina College of Emergency Physicians
North Carolina Committee on Trauma
North Carolina Committee on Trauma/ American College of Surgeons
North Carolina Pediatric Society
North Carolina State Trauma Advisory Committee
North Dakota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Novant Health
Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence
Ohio Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Ohio National Organization for Women
Oklahoma Chapter – American Academy of Pediatrics
Orange County, California Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Oregon Chapter of ACEP
Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials
Oregon Health & Science University
Oregon Health & Science University-Portland State University Gun Violence as a Public Health
Issue Advisory Committee
Oregon Pediatric Society
Oregon Public Health Association
PBC National Organization for Women
Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Pennsylvania Public Health Association
Pennsylvania Three Rivers Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Pennsylvania-Delaware Valley Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence
Portland State University
Public Health-Seattle & King County
Public Policy Witness, Presbytery of the James
Puerto Rico Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics
Rhode Island Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Rhode Island Public Health Association
Rochester NOW
Sacramento Valley, California Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Safe Kids Cleveland County
San Francisco Bay, California Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Santa Fe NOW
South Carolina Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
South Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
South Dakota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
South Dakota Public Health Association
Southern California Public Health Association (SCPHA)
Tennessee ACEP Chapter
Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Tennessee College of Emergency Physicians
Tennessee Public Health Association
Texas Pediatric Society
The Maryland Psychiatric Society
Trinity Health
University of Michigan
Utah Public Health Association
Vermont Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians
Vidant Medical Center
Virginia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Virginia Public Health Association
Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Washington State Public Health Association
West Virginia Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics
West Virginia College of Emergency Physicians
Will County NOW
Wisconsin Chapter – National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Wisconsin Chapter, American College of Emergency Physicians
Wisconsin Public Health Association
Wyoming Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics