December 17, 2015: New York State Bar Association Expresses Disappointment Over Failure Of Congress To Repeal Dickey Amendment
The New York State Bar Association today expressed its disappointment that Congress has not included in the omnibus budget legislation language to repeal the Dickey Amendment. The amendment blocks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from collecting data on the use of guns.
“The Association believes that it is essential that there be nonpartisan, scientific inquiry to analyze, assess and provide information on the causes and trends of gun violence in America,” said State Bar President David P. Miranda of Albany (Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti). “We are disappointed that Congress has not yet acted to repeal the Dickey Amendment.”
Miranda had written to New York’s congressional delegates, urging them to repeal the law. “Without funding, the CDC was effectively forced to withdraw from the field of firearms research,” he wrote. “The collection and distillation of this evidence is necessary for lawmakers and the public to make informed judgments about this topic.”
The Dickey Amendment provides that none of the funds available for “injury prevention and control” at the CDC may be used to advocate or promote gun control.
Former U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey of Arkansas authored the amendment, which became law in 1996. He also encouraged Congress to repeal the law. Federal research into the causes of gun violence should be undertaken, and now can be done “without encroaching on the rights of legitimate gun owners,” Dickey said in the nonpartisan report by the State Bar’s Task Force on Gun Violence earlier this year.
View Miranda’s letter to congressional delegates at www.nysba.org/LettertoCongressDec2015
The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.
Contact: Christina Couto
Senior Media Writer