Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Mark DeSaulnier Representing the 11th District of California
Walnut Creek, CA – Today, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) announced the introduction of the Gun Safety Board and Research Act, a bill that would help to combat our nation’s gun violence epidemic through evidence-based, scientific solutions. In recognition that gun violence is a public health crisis, the bill would establish a board of experts housed at the Department of Health and Human Services responsible for conducting research, evaluating federal and state policy proposals, and recommending best practices for reducing firearm deaths.
“Gun violence is the leading cause of premature death in the United States. It is a public health crisis, and it deserves to be treated with the same scientific and evidence-based approach that we use to treat diseases and other threats to public health,” said Congressman Mark DeSaulnier. “As the son of someone who took their own life with a gun, I have worked throughout my career to put an end to the gun violence epidemic. The creation of the nonpartisan Gun Safety Board will allow us to focus on quality research and thoughtful solutions to the many causes and impacts of gun violence and deaths through the lens of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities.”
The bill is supported by Brady and Everytown, which includes Moms Demand Action. Brady is one of America’s oldest and most successful gun violence prevention groups and Everytown is the nation’s largest.
“Gun violence is an epidemic, and solving epidemics requires following the science and applying solutions that are backed by evidence,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We applaud Congressman DeSaulnier for introducing this important bill, which would create a Gun Safety Board to conduct gun violence prevention research. We beat the gun lobby’s 20-year campaign to shut down all gun violence research with dedicated funding for this life-saving work, and we’ll do it again to expand on that success.
“Any effort to end our nation’s gun violence crisis requires evidence-based action,” shared Kris Brown, president of Brady. “The Gun Safety Board and Research Act will help to catalyze the research yielding the data that informs that work. This bill will help researchers and lawmakers to understand the contours of this public health crisis and devise new policies and programs to end it. Brady thanks Rep. DeSaulnier for championing this important and common-sense bill.”
The Gun Safety Board would be comprised of experts within the fields of law enforcement, public health, mental health care, gun violence prevention research, gun manufacturing, victim advocacy, and racial justice advocacy. The Board would take a comprehensive look at the way gun violence affects our lives, including through mass shootings, domestic violence, and suicides, and would:
- Conduct original research into reducing gun violence;
- Make policy and funding recommendations at the local, state, and federal level aimed at reducing gun violence;
- Identify gaps in gun violence research that should be filled;
- Evaluate existing federal and state laws and proposals aimed at reducing gun violence; and
- Provide grants to educate the public about the causes and effects of gun violence and to conduct additional research.
Congressman DeSaulnier is longtime advocate for gun violence prevention and a proud recipient of an “F” rating from the NRA. He has authored several bills to reduce gun thefts and increase community safety, including the Federal Law Enforcement and Public Protection Act to prevent incidents in which federal law enforcement officers’ service weapons are lost or stolen and the Modernizing Firearm Technology Act to incentivize the development of smart guns; and legislation in the California State Senate to mandate reporting of lost or stolen weapons. He is also a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.