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Gun Study Survives Attempt To Cut Funds

Congressional budget writers on Thursday rejected an effort to delete funding for a controversial U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of firearms violence.

The House Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the budget of the Department of Health and Human Services - which includes the CDC voted, 8-6, against a motion by Rep. Jay Dickey, R-Ark., to delete $2.6 million that had been proposed for the on-going study by the Atlanta center’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC).

“This is the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) amendment,” said subcommittee chairman John Porter, R-Ill., referring to the militant pro-gun lobbying group. “I think everybody in this country ought to be concerned about the level of death coming from guns.”

Dickey, who has been the leading critic of the CDC injury branch during hearings leading up to the subcommittee’s final appropriations vote Thursday, said he was surprised that the subcommittee rejected his amendment.

During debate, he repeated his charge that NCIPC has deliberately slanted its research in a campaign to spread anti-gun sentiment.

“The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has approached violence as a disease and guns as a germ or a pathogen,” Dickey said. “The center is using its resources to achieve the political end of making firearm ownership a public health threat.”

The CDC budget must survive consideration by the full Appropriations Committee and vote by the entire House of Representatives as well as the same series of steps in the Senate before it is final.