NIH records show that one study being questioned by lawmakers aimed to “investigate whether adolescents who consume alcohol and/or carry firearms, and/or whose daily activities occur in surroundings rich in alcohol and/or firearms, face a differential risk of being shot with a firearm or injured in a non-gun assault.”
A separate study on child safety looked at the decision-making process by couples on whether to own firearms, in part trying to identify whether women are less supportive of firearms compared with their partners.
The questions about whether the NIH should fund such research are being raised more than a decade after the House voted against restoring $2.6 million to the CDC’s budget, money that the agency was spending on gun studies. The move, backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), was made after Republicans and some Democrats complained that the CDC was pushing for gun control.
The money was eventually restored to the CDC budget but with a spending restriction that has remained in place ever since, mandating that funds cannot be used “in whole or in part to advocate or promote gun control.”
Mr. Barton and Mr. Walden, both of whom have received political contributions from the NRA over the years, requested more information on the NIH firearms research funding a month after they separately raised questions about several other NIH grants.
Their earlier letter to the NIH cited questions about grants that “do not seem to be of the highest scientific rigor,” including one on whether participating on dragon-boat paddling teams helped cancer survivors more than taking part in an organized walking program.