House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is pressing for next year's budget to include an end to the ban on government-funded research on gun violence.
At a news conference Thursday morning, Democratic lawmakers joined family members of people who have died from gun violence to call on Congress to lift a ban on federal gun research.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Democrats could “not have a bill leave the station that still has that ban in it.”
A Republican-led Congress in 1996 chose to defund federal gun research as a result of a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found having a gun in the home increased “the risk of homicide and suicide threefold.”
The former Republican congressman who wrote the law that banned the funding now says that was a mistake.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wondered what the outcry would be if the CDC couldn't collect data on diseases such as Ebola.
“We have in this nation truly an epidemic of gun death and gun disease that is taking lives, 90 of them every day, and should be treated as a public health crisis,” he said.
Pelosi said lifting the ban is a “priority” for Democrats. She stopped short of saying that Democrats would oppose the year-end government spending bill if the ban is again renewed.