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December 16, 2019–The Hill newspaper announced today that federal agencies will receive $25 million from Congress to study gun violence in a government spending deal reached by House and Senate negotiators.

According to the newspaper, “The deal includes $12.5 million each for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health to study gun violence and ways to prevent it.

It’s the first time in more than 20 years that Congress has appropriated money for gun violence research.

Congress stopped funding gun violence research in 1996 after an amendment passed blocking agencies from using federal funds to advocate for gun control.

While the so-called Dickey Amendment — named for its author, former Sen. Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) — does not prevent agencies from studying gun violence, that was its effect…

While Democrats had tried for years to end the amendment, they shifted their strategy this year, pushing for $50 million in funding while leaving the amendment in place in an attempt to allay concerns that the money could be used inappropriately.

Gun violence research funding was viewed as a top priority for the new Democratic House majority after years of deadly mass shootings in schools, churches and other public spaces.”