Lance: Lift the federal ban on gun violence research
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today said it is time to end a 22-year restriction that forbids the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from studying the links between mental health and gun violence.
“By removing restrictions that prevent the federal government from studying mental health issues that lead to gun violence, Congress could have a clearer picture of what effective policies and solutions might be taken to stem the tide of violence,” said Lance.
Appearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said Thursday that he would allow his department to conduct research into the causes of gun violence. Lance is a member of the committee and attended the hearing.
“I agree with Secretary Azar — it’s time to permit the CDC to study gun violence as a public health problem,” Lance added.
As part of an overall effort to curb gun violence, Lance introduced legislation signed into law by President Obama aimed at expanding access to mental health services throughout the country. The Excellence in Mental Health Act is providing additional federal funding for community mental health centers to serve an additional 1.5 million patients annually.