Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon today announced that the Assembly has passed legislation to create the Firearm Violence Research Institute and the Gun Violence Research Fund, and allow taxpayers to make contributions to the fund.
“The Assembly Majority is committed to protecting New Yorkers from the scourge of gun violence, and has worked hard to craft commonsense gun laws,” Speaker Heastie said. “This legislation will fund critical research into the root causes of gun violence, and help us address and solve those problems in our state and in our communities.”
“These bills will support gun violence research in New York, and are an important step toward understanding and addressing gun violence in our state,” Assemblymember Simon said. “In order to curb deaths, injuries and trauma from guns, we need to understand the data. We will continue working toward solutions to keep New Yorkers safe from gun violence in our communities.”
On average, 39,000 Americans die from gun violence every year, but the federal government has not funded research into gun violence since 1996. This legislation creates the Gun Violence Research Fund, which would be managed by the New York State comptroller and the commissioner of the Department of Tax and Finance, and funding would be expended by the Department of Health and the State University of New York (SUNY) for gun violence research (A.2111, Simon). Legislation would also update the tax law to allow taxpayers to contribute to gun violence research.
The Assembly also passed legislation that would create the Firearm Violence Research Institute within SUNY, which would lead gun violence research efforts in the state. Establishing the research center will help provide elected officials, governmental agencies and the public with the data to help prevent gun violence in New York (A.7302, Simon).