Maryland congressional candidate calls for additional federal research on gun violence

A Democrat running in Maryland’s open 6th Congressional District said Wednesday that Congress must do more to promote federal studies of gun violence, including setting aside money for that research.

Del. Aruna Miller, a state lawmaker running for the Democratic nomination in the district held by Rep. John Delaney, said that the gun control provisions included in the $1.3 trillion spending bill lawmakers approved last week did not go far enough.

Democrats have touted the language in the spending bill, which clarified that the Centers for Disease Control may conduct research into the causes of gun violence. Democrats say a rider approved by Congress in 1996 known as the Dickey Amendment chilled such research.

But in the days following the measure’s approval, gun control advocates have questioned its potential impact, noting the law includes no money for that research. Republicans say the Dickey Amendment language does not prohibit research, only the use of federal money to advocate for gun control.

Miller argued for the expanded research as part of a broader policy agenda on gun control unveiled Wednesday that also included calls for universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and increasing the minimum age to buy a firearm — ideas that are widely supported by Democrats but stand little chance of winning approval.

Miller is one of eight Democrats and four Republicans running this year to succeed Delaney, who announced last year that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president. Her gun control plan comes days after students from across the nation took part in March for Our Lives events to protest inaction on the issue.

“It is our responsibility as lawmakers to listen to them, to support them, and to take action,” Miller said in a statement. “Democrats and Republicans alike need to put our children ahead of the NRA and end this carnage.”

Other Democrats running for the seat include businessman David Trone, Sen. Roger Manno, former aerospace executive Christopher Hearsey, pediatrician Nadia Hashimi, businessman Chris Graves, retired economist George English, and Andrew Duck, the Democratic nominee for the 6th District in 2010. The Republican candidates are Amie Hoeber, the GOP nominee in 2016; Kurt Elsasser; nurse Lisa Lloyd; and Bradley St. Rohrs.

john.fritze@baltsun.com

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