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Ipswich Chronicle: Markey leading Senate push on gun violence research

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Edward Markey pledged Thursday to bring legislation to the Senate floor that would provide the Centers for Disease Control funding to research gun violence for the first time in two decades.

“We will have plenty of opportunities before the end of the year to make sure this discussion happens on the floor of the Senate. We will find the time and the opportunity,” said the Massachusetts Democrat.

Markey introduced legislation last June to provide CDC with $10 million annually over the next six years to conduct research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention. The bill has 15 Democratic co-sponsors including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

Senate Republicans have shown no willingness to advance the legislation and a similar proposal was defeated last month in the House. Still, Markey and other Democrats remain hopeful that they can draw Republican support to what they view as a modest proposal. And, if not, they can hold them accountable to voters.

“There is no reason now not to fund critical research,” Markey said. “It is time to take our heads out of the sand on gun violence. We need better information about what is causing it and what can be done to prevent it. We need to study this scourge, understand what is causing it, and then let ups put an end to it.”