Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02), Vice Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, alongside Reps. Barbara Lee (CA-12), and Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) introduced the Gun Violence as a Public Health Emergency Act, which would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to coordinate with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to produce an annual report on gun violence, its public health effects, and action taken by the federal government.
This report will help inform policymakers on how to respond to gun violence. It will further inform a collective public health approach to ending gun violence.
Specifics of the Legislation
Specifically, this legislation calls on the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to publish:
- Data on national firearm deaths and injuries disaggregated by age, sex, gender, location, type of violence, and type of firearm;
- Information on the types of programs used to respond to and reduce gun violence and their effectiveness;
- Data on federal funding and frequency of research relating to gun violence.
“In 2022, 44,357 Americans died of gun violence. There were nearly 40,000 more injured. Gun violence must be treated as a public health issue. However, we cannot identify and deploy interventions without understanding the root causes,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly. “No one should be afraid to go to work, school, or the park because they might get shot. We deserve to live our lives without fear. This is why I am reintroducing the Recognizing Gun Violence as a Public Health Emergency Act.”
Bolster Comprehensive Firearms Data
“The lack of comprehensive firearms data severely hamstrings efforts to curb the growing threat of gun violence. The Recognizing Gun Violence as a Public Health Emergency Act directs the Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to produce an annual report on gun violence, its public health effects, and actions taken by the federal government to elevate gun violence as a public health emergency. Gun violence impacts all communities. The government must better deploy resources and evidence-based solutions. This bill is a step in the right direction,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
“It is high time for U.S. policymakers to call on our top public health officials to craft effective, consensus policies for preventing gun violence and gun deaths in the U.S.,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “‘The Recognizing Gun Violence as a Public Health Emergency Act’ is an excellent first step towards treating gun violence as the public health crisis that it is. It will provide policymakers with reliable data on gun violence and gun violence solutions for years to come.”
The Act Provides a Lifeline
“The Recognizing Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue Act is more than just legislation. It’s a lifeline,” said Greg Jackson, Executive Director of Community Justice Action Fund. “Gun violence ravages our communities daily, hitting Black and Brown neighborhoods hardest. Mandating an annual report on gun violence is a tangible step from treating symptoms. This will aid in addressing root causes that will transform how we approach gun violence. It is not merely a crime issue but a public health crisis. We applaud the leadership of Reps. Robin Kelly, Barbara Lee, and Adriano Espaillat on this life-and-death issue. We urge Congress to advance this legislation which would prove vital in our battle for safer communities.”
“To solve a crisis, you must first understand it. That’s certainly true for our nation’s gun violence crisis, which kills 120 Americans every day and wounds hundreds more. Everytown is grateful to Congresswoman Kelly for reintroducing this legislation. It will provide the public and policymakers with hard data on the steep human cost of gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety.
Guns Are the Number One Cause of Death for America’s Children
“Today, guns are the number one cause of death for America’s children, threatening the very future of our nation. Continuing down this current path will inevitably lead to more devastation. It is time for us to treat gun violence as a public health epidemic. It is vital for the Surgeon General to regularly inform Congress on what this epidemic is doing to our country. We must hold our institutions accountable for addressing these life-altering effects. Brady applauds Congresswoman Kelly for re-introducing this pivotal legislation. It will ensure this public health emergency has the attention and resources needed to eliminate it,” said Kris Brown, President of Brady.
“March For Our Lives is pleased to support the Recognizing Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue Act as a crucial and necessary step towards addressing the devastating impact of gun violence on our communities,” said Zeenat Yahya, Director of Policy at March For Our Lives. “This legislation not only acknowledges gun violence as a pressing public health epidemic but also paves the way for evidence-based prevention strategies and will help inform policymakers at every level on how to respond to gun violence with a public health approach. For several years, March and our allies have called for federal recognition of the epidemic to move the resources we need across the government to address this crisis. We’re happy to stand with our friend Congresswoman Robin Kelly and other allies in Congress to push for this legislation to fight for the end of the senseless and tragic toll of gun violence.”
This is news from Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s office.