Congress may fund gun violence research for first time in decades

Federal agencies will be allotted $25M to study gun violence in a government spending deal reached by House and Senate negotiators.
5:21 | 12/16/19

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Transcript for Congress may fund gun violence research for first time in decades
You know congress does not want to end on this impeachment vote this year we've heard from house Democrats that they want to close out. The 2019. On a different notes we seen a big push for some bipartisan bills. In particular congress has a massive funding bill they're expected to passed by the weeks and we'll have to pass it by the weeks and there's a big. Deadline and that grand funding bill there are two possible policy changes that are pretty significantly want to break down those. Right now I can see on the screen. 25 million dollars expected to be included in the spending bill that would go towards the federal government studying gun violence from a health perspective and some of the health research agencies the government. Seconds there's talk that this big bill we'll raise the federal minimum age for purchasing all tobacco products to 21 years old. That I would include keeping any cigarettes. Artists in many states have already passed laws raising the minimum wage and his interest in the biz is bipartisan legislation bipartisan legislation. Indeed had a self that is supported by leader McConnell. I think that that is going to be Creag by the winds people realize that that is and there are going to be voted on just later this week some joined again by bank to help Meeks at. Me talk to two experts and break down. What some of this means ought to bring in those two experts as well we have doctor Jonathan that's all professor and director of the center for medicine health and society at Vanderbilt. And he's written a lot on the gun violence epidemic in America there you are professor thank you for joining us. And also Matthew Myers the president of the campaign for tobacco free kids. So let's start with the idea over. The federal money going towards federally funded research on gun violence I think this is interest in a lot of you'll might understand it is historic. So professor Michael talked to us a little bit about why there has not been more federal research on gun violence. In the past Democrats accused Republicans of basically banning it. Tell us about why this is a store act. And that's in fact true I mean we've had this ridiculous situation in the United States where on one hand gotten violence and gun death and gun injury have gone up exponentially year after year. And in the meantime we've had a federal really is effectively a ban in place since the 1990s in the mid 1990s. There is a writer attached to the into the congressional budget that basically said that congress was prohibited from giving any kind of federal money to places like the CDC here the and I age or other places that study that said he gun violence and so what we've seen is that over the years. Got an injury and death have become just dramatically underfunded in relation to the public health risks that they that they pose. And every couple of years there's been an attempt to basically say we need to overturn the stand and I think. Really it should be a bipartisan issue we have about 40000 gun deaths a year in this country and many mark on injuries. It doesn't matter you know Republican Democrat everybody's suffering from nests but year after year the congress has been basically maintain this stand out of this kind of faulty idea that gun violence researchers somehow partisan. And so as a result gun violence and gun deaths are one of the most understanding causes of death in the United States and it's just really fantastic to see some movement from congress on this issue. What current studies are you imagining the CDC are and I H might be able to. To get going nine in the new year. Well I think there're couple things that are important here number one is of course the United States is a very unique society on one hand we own a tremendous amount of a firearms and more than one had gotten per person almost a in this country. Answer I think what we've really lacked so far are major databases to basically saying what kind of gun violence prevention efforts work in a society. Where there are guns and people what what are the most effective ways to prevent to prevent gun injury I think that's why I'm. There are of course is mass shootings have been underfunded and so what we're to the best measures to stop the step that the flow into trying to be a mass shootings instructors like that. And I think there is bigger questions just about and I mean when you think about it as a dispatcher we have about 40000. Gun deaths a year and in this country for many many more guns and so I would also like to see studies just about. You know what are the characteristics of guns that are never fired out of people live safely with guides and structures like outsourcing to take on point here is we really lack of big kind of studies that we've seen with in her seat belts and smoking and dating as you're about to talk about how I really think that you know these the kind of studies that we really need to do in this country to assess kind of what what are the best practices in a society like ours. And I think it's notable too that Democrats. They have the house this year this is one of the things they brought to the table. When these government funding goes a usually hashed out Republicans in the house and the senate bring some under the table the other chamber bring something to the table the president also brings his demands this is one of the demands that Democrats in the house insists are having in this in this government funding measure. Now it's across the finish line and a big win today for for a gun safety advocates and of course Democrats who think that this could as as such a mental set help shed light on on non some of the questions surrounding gun deaths in this country. And another day and he's I'll secretary Anson and I just say it's remarkable I mean this is really decades in the making that this has been an issue Purcell loss of the fact that the Democrats in congress. Were able to push this just artistry part million dollars purse the server the finish line in this race I think it's as is really really momentous and just a huge win for the Democrats in congress.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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