October 2, 2015: Association Joins Call for Congress to Reverse Restrictions on Gun Violence Data

By Communications Department

The New York State Bar Association supports President Obama’s call for greater data collection on gun violence.  The Association has previously called for such data collection.

In a statement to the media after a mass shooting at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon yesterday, Obama called on Congress to reverse a ban on collecting data “that could potentially reduce gun deaths,” stating that “[w]e are collectively answerable to those loved ones because of our inaction.”

Congress effectively blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from conducting research on gun violence by passing the Dickey Amendment to an omnibus spending bill in 1996, which stated that no funds “made available for injury prevention and control may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” While the amendment did not specifically ban firearm research, funds were no longer earmarked for that purpose, forcing the CDC to withdraw from that field of study. The Tiahrt Amendments, originally enacted in 2003, also limited the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms’ (ATF) ability to share gun trace data with law enforcement, policy makers and academics interested in shaping strategies to combat urban violence.

The New York State Bar Association opposes these data sharing restrictions. In a special report produced by its Task Force on Gun Violence earlier this year, Understanding the Second Amendment,  the Association calls on Congress to lift current funding and programmatic restrictions that prevent federal agencies from collecting and sharing data regarding firearm violence.

“We support 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. “It is going to take hard evidence for our policy leaders to make decisions that give our nation a better chance of reducing gun violence.”

The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation.  It was founded in 1876.

Media Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 518-487-5532

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