After more than 20 years of minimal funding, the U.S. is opening its purse strings to research on gun violence prevention.

Congress allocated $25 million in December to spur new insights into the ways gun violence can be prevented, with funding split between the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since then, researchers, advocates and other prevention supporters have been abuzz, weighing in on such things as funding priorities and proposal criteria. And the challenge is formidable, as gun violence prevention overlaps public health, criminal justice, public safety, deaths of despair, intimate partner relationships, workplace conflicts and more.

An emergency room signWhile the new federal funding commitment is modest, the fact that it was allocated is a good sign, according to Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and faculty member of the Center for Gun Policy and Research.

“It sends an important message to the public, to the scientific community, to policymakers and to program coordinators at the state and local levels,” Frattaroli, an APHA member, told The Nation’s Health. “It signals that the federal government is committed to bringing resources to the table to solve this problem in a way we have not seen in a while.”

Continue reading this story from the May 2020 issue of The Nation's Health.

Photo courtesy Adam Calaitzis, iStockphoto