FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2020
202-408-0061 Ext 1017 (o)
Washington, DC (July 31, 2020) — Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 7617, a six-bill appropriations minibus that includes Fiscal Year 2021 spending bills for the Departments of Defense, Commerce, Justice, Energy, Interior, Treasury, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; the Executive Office of the President; the Judiciary; and other related agencies.
The minibus includes historic investments for gun violence prevention research. The Fiscal Year 2020 budget included $25 million for firearm injury and mortality prevention research split evenly between the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). H.R. 7617 more than doubles that investment by providing $25 million for research at the NIH and $25 million for research at the CDC. Additionally, the minibus includes Representative Robin Kelly’s amendment to add an additional $5 million for research, bringing the total for gun violence prevention research to $55 million.
Additional gun violence prevention provisions include:
- Limiting the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement;
- $400 million for grants to carry out police reform initiatives;
- $9 million for community-based violence prevention initiatives;
- $525 million for Violence Against Women Act programs;
- $88 million for states to upgrade records for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS);
- $1.55 billion for the ATF, including increased funding to expand the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to help reduce violent gun crime;
- Directing the CDC to submit a comprehensive report detailing the scope and intersection of all forms of violence in the U.S., the cost of violence, and areas where more data and intervention are needed;
- $21 million for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline;
- $21 million for the Zero Suicide program;
- $10 million for a new effort focused on social determinants of health.
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Director of Federal Affairs Dakota Jablon issued the following statement:
“We applaud the passage of H.R. 7617. The appropriations minibus supports various aspects of gun violence prevention, including research, community-based violence prevention initiatives, domestic violence, suicide prevention, and police reform. Funding these areas is critical to stopping gun violence in all its forms and saving lives.
“Funding for research is an especially important provision of H.R. 7617 and is critical in the fight against gun violence. Gun violence is a public health issue, and we need robust research to address it. By funding research that can help to develop evidence-based prevention solutions, the House has taken a life-saving step.
“While H.R. 7617 is a positive step, there is still much work to be done and many aspects of gun violence prevention that require more investment. While we are pleased to see the House invest in community-based violence prevention initiatives in H.R. 7617, still less than 1% of the Department of Justice’s total budget goes to explicit community-based violence prevention and intervention efforts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a rise in community gun violence; this is exactly why we need to invest in evidence-based community based programs that have proven to be effective. Doing so will bring significant change.”