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Pallone Renews Call for Congress to Address Public Health Epidemic of Gun Violence

September 19, 2016
Press Release

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ– Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ 06), the Ranking Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, met with emergency physicians and public health advocates at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital—a Level I Trauma Center—and discussed the impact of gun violence on public health throughout New Jersey and the country. Every day, 306 people in America are shot in homicides, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, and police intervention. These shootings have an enormous impact on trauma centers throughout the country.

Federal research on the impact of gun violence and public health has long been blocked by Congressional Republicans with support from the National Rifle Association (NRA). During a markup of the fiscal year 2017 health spending bill, Republicans blocked Democratic amendments that would have allowed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study gun-related deaths. President Obama lifted ban on CDC gun violence research two years ago but Republicans have still refused to fund research. Congressman Pallone has worked to fund gun violence studies as the Ranking Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee which oversees health.

Representatives from the Brady Campaign, Million Moms March, the New Jersey State Nurses Association and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics all voiced strong support for Congressional action on gun violence.

“With thousands shot every day throughout our country we must confront the growing public health crisis that gun violence has become,” said Pallone. “I stand with medical professionals at Robert Wood Johnson in calling on Congress to take concrete steps to bring about change on this issue. That is why it is so disturbing that Republicans are standing with the NRA instead of our public health professionals and won’t even allow research to understand the extent of the challenges we face.”

After the largest shooting in American history taking place in Orlando earlier this year, a broad coalition of physician organizations issued a statement calling upon Congress to take action to stem the tide of gun violence. They stated, “These unspeakable acts highlight gun violence as a grim and increasing public health epidemic that kills approximately 91 Americans every dayTHIS MUST STOP.”

Congressman Pallone has been a strong critic of House Republicans who have refused to allow for the consideration of common sense measures to address gun violence. He has called for Republican leadership call up The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act – bipartisan legislation to expand and strengthen our background checks system and the bipartisan ‘No Fly, No Buy’ bill to keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists.