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California Bill Would Restart Gun Violence Study

James Case / Flickr

James Case / Flickr

The University of California would conduct research on gun violence, which the federal government doesn’t, under a bill in the California Senate.

The Centers for Disease Control conducts federal research on house fires, bullying, domestic violence and car accidents, and it used to research gun violence. But, after studies tied household guns to increased risks, Congress removed the agency’s firearms funding in 1996.

Gun advocates said the studies were biased, because they didn't include successful defensive gun uses.

While it's not technically banned, CDC research on gun violence has all but stopped.

"I think it was wrong-headed," says California Democratic state Senator Lois Wolk of that legislation. "I believe that research is an important tool that we have. We make better policies when it’s based on some kind of scientific evidence."

Wolk has introduced a bill that would create a new University of California Firearm Violence Research Center. The center would look into the reasons for firearms violence and evidence to inform gun laws.

Wolk's office estimates it would require $5 million in state funds over the first five years.

The National Rifle Association says it wants unbiased research, and this likely won’t be.

A hearing is set for March 16.

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