Issue: Address the epidemic of senseless firearms-related injuries and deaths through investments in research and much needed evidence-based policy reforms at all levels of government.
Why Action is Needed
In 2021, 45,222 Americans lost their lives due to firearm violence, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There were 647 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2022 alone. ACP is greatly concerned not only about the alarming number of mass shootings in the country, but also the daily toll of firearm violence in our neighborhoods, homes, workplaces, and public and private venues.
Passage last year of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act regarding gun-related deaths and injuries, which ACP strongly supported, serves as an important foundation for improving public safety. However, it is clear additional legislation is needed to continue making progress toward improving safety and reducing injury and death from firearms.
For more than two decades, ACP has called for common-sense policies that would help reduce the number of injuries and deaths stemming from firearms. In 2019, ACP joined with 41 other leading organizations in a joint call-to-action that called for evidence-based solutions to mitigate firearms violence. We are pleased that many of the proposals included in our most recent policy paper on firearms violence prevention are also policies contained in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act—which was enacted last year—such as closing domestic violence loopholes, increasing background checks, and providing support and funding for Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). However, more action must be taken. ACP calls for firearm violence to be identified as a national epidemic, for a public health emergency to be declared, and for federal and state governments to take appropriate action to curb firearm violence.
Call to Action
- Support $35 million for the CDC’s Injury Prevention and Control, Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention Research and NIH, $25 million for the Office of the Director, Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention Research.
- Support suicide prevention legislation, such as the Child Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety Act, that expands evidence-based suicide prevention practices, including safe storage of firearms.
- Support the Handgun Permit to Purchase Act, S. 117, legislation that would authorize grants to states to support handgun purchaser licensing programs.