The American Medical Association called gun violence in America a public health crisis on Tuesday, pledging to lobby Congress to repeal a 20-year ban on gun violence research funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The group’s House of Delegates approved the resolution Tuesday, pointing to the Orlando shooting over the weekend, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, and thousands of other gun-related deaths that occur annually.
“Even as America faces a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country, the Congress prohibits the CDC from conducting the very research that would help us understand the problems associated with gun violence and determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries,” AMA President Steven Stack said in a statement. “An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital so physicians and other health providers, law enforcement, and society at large may be able to prevent injury, death and other harms to society resulting from firearms.”
President Obama has called on Congress to allocate funding to the CDC for gun violence research in budget proposals throughout his presidency, though lawmakers haven’t done so. Democrats in both chambers have also introduced legislation that would reverse the ban. CDC-funded research on gun violence is often pointed to as a measure that could be taken after mass shootings in an attempt to reduce violence.