Home > Gainey resolution to call upon Joint State Government Commission to research gun violence as public health crisis

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Gainey resolution to call upon Joint State Government Commission to research gun violence as public health crisis

 

 In the hopes of combating ongoing gun violence plaguing communities across the commonwealth, state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, is introducing a resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to research gun violence as a public health crisis.

 

“An individual in Pennsylvania is killed every six hours due to gun violence,” Gainey said. “I believe the General Assembly should not sit on its hands as thousands of Pennsylvanians are injured or killed by firearms every year. We, as legislators, must utilize every tool that we have to keep Pennsylvanians safe from gun violence.”

 

It’s estimated that nearly 40 percent of firearms sold in the U.S. are sold without a meaningful background check, which means millions of guns are blindly sold each year to individuals who potentially should not own a firearm. In addition, violent behavior due to a mental health disorder accounts only for about 4 percent to 5 percent of gun violence.

 

Gainey said the matter of researching gun violence has seen great resistance, but there’s growing momentum to change the tide.  

 

In 2012, former U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey announced his opposition to an amendment he authored in 1997 – the Dickey Amendment – that prohibited the Centers for Disease Control from using federal funds to research gun violence as a public health crisis. Despite his prior stance on the matter, Dickey now believes researching the topic could have a positive impact in reducing gun violence without infringing upon the Second Amendment.

 

“We’re losing lives daily due to ongoing gun violence in our communities,” Gainey said. “I’m confident my resolution calling upon the Joint State Government Commission to research gun violence and issue a report of its finding to the General Assembly would be a stepping stone that will ultimately curb this ongoing epidemic indefinitely.”

 

Gainey’s resolution is expected to be introduced to the state House in the near future.

 

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