ACP and 41 Leading Organizations Announce Agreement on Call to Action to Reduce Gun Violence

Call to action offers recommendations to mitigate gun violence across the country

Washington, D.C. October 16, 2019 – Thirty-five organizations today joined the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and the American Public Health Association in calling for policies to help stem firearms-related injuries and deaths in the United States. The organizations endorsed the article, Firearm-Related Injury and Death in the United States: A Call to Action From the Nation's Leading Physician and Public Health Professional Organizations, published online in Annals of Internal Medicine on August 7, 2019.

"As physicians, we’ve seen the consequences of unchecked gun violence first hand—inside and outside of the exam room, and we have a responsibility to our patients and the communities we serve to speak out and call for measures to mitigate this crisis,” said Robert McLean, MD, MACP, president, ACP. "Our organizations are committed to working tirelessly to identify reasonable, evidence-based solutions to reduce firearm-related injury and death and will continue to urge Congress and the administration to address the public health threat of firearms.”

The following organizations have officially endorsed the article and its recommendations:

Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

American Academy of Neurology

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehab

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

American College of Cardiology

American College of Chest Physicians

American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists

American College of Preventive Medicine

American Geriatrics Society

American Medical Group Association

American Medical Women's Association

American Psychological Association

American Society of Hematology

American Society of Nephrology

American Thoracic Society

Association of American Medical Colleges

C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth

Doctors for America

Everytown for Gun Safety


Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care

Manhattan District Attorney’s Office

National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians

National Hispanic Medical Association

National Partnership for Women & Families

Newtown Action Alliance

Prevention Institute

Renal Physicians Association

Scrubs Addressing the Firearms Epidemic

Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine

Society of Critical Care Medicine

Society of General Internal Medicine

Society of Interventional Radiology

States United to Prevent Gun Violence

"Many of these same organizations signed onto a similar call to action in 2015. That was four years ago, and yet nothing has happened legislatively,” said Dr. McLean. “We find that frustrating and inexcusable as this public health crisis has continued. We are pushing harder than ever to do something now."


About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 159,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Quotes from Supporting Organizations:

American Academy of Ophthalmology

“In my career I’ve cared for more eyes blinded from firearms than I can count. More than once the person has been left totally blind. This is an issue for our profession, our physicians, and our patients,” said David W. Parke II, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Ophthalmology.

American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

“On a daily basis, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians see the disabling impact of firearm injuries to individual patients and communities as a whole,” stated Peter Esselman, MD, FAAPMR, President of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. “AAPM&R is the voice of our specialty and we fully support the recommendations outlined in this Call to Action.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

“Gun violence touches the lives and families of women across the U.S. Homicide is the second leading cause of injury-related deaths among pregnant and postpartum women, and the majority of these homicides are carried out with firearms. Access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner homicide by a factor of five," said Ted L. Anderson, MD, PhD, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). "ACOG is proud to endorse this important paper, which calls for solutions that are in line with ACOG policy in support of an evidence-based, public health approach to gun violence."

American Psychological Association

“Gun violence is a public health problem that has become far too common in our communities,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, CEO of the American Psychological Association. “APA joins with our health care colleagues in a movement to apply evidence-based approaches to preventing firearms-related injuries and deaths. The time for action is now.”

C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth

“It’s time to start thinking of the gun as a disease vector, a causal contributor to violent deaths and injuries. Smoke-free laws and other public health regulations have substantially reduced deaths due to another vector—cigarettes. Corresponding efforts to sensibly regulate guns – universal background checks, magazine capacity limits and assault weapon bans – remain tragically unimplemented,” said James Sargent, MD, Director, C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth.


Everytown for Gun Safety

"Gun violence in the U.S. is a public health crisis that doctors see the effects of on a daily basis,” said Sarah Burd-Sharps, Director of Research for Everytown for Gun Safety. “When doctors speak about the need to address gun violence, far too many speak from deeply personal experience. This call to action underscores the need to take meaningful steps to prevent gun violence, and policymakers should pay close attention to its important recommendations." 

National Partnership for Women & Families

“The National Partnership is pleased to stand with leading physician and public health organizations against our nation’s rising tide of gun violence. We applaud their focus on intimate partner violence and the need for comprehensive criminal background checks. Women are five times more likely to be killed during an intimate violence situation when a firearm is present. Guns pose a clear and present danger to the safety and well-being of women and children. There are no safe spaces, and no one is immune. We sincerely hope that our national health leaders’ call to end the epidemic of violence prompts swift action,” said Debra L. Ness, president, National Partnership for Women & Families.

Newtown Action Alliance

“It’s been nearly seven years since a gunman with an assault weapon senselessly murdered 20 children and six educators in our elementary school in Newtown. The Sandy Hook shooting tragedy demonstrated that any community in America can be impacted by gun violence at any time. We encourage our elected leaders to adopt the life-saving measures recommended by the medical and public health professionals who are on the frontline managing the gun violence public health crisis in our nation on a daily basis,” said Po Murray, Chairwoman, Newtown Action Alliance & The Newtown Foundation.

Society of General Internal Medicine

“The Society of General Internal Medicine is proud to stand in the lane with the American College of Physicians and other organizations in advocating for reasonable, evidence-based strategies for reducing firearm-related injuries and deaths,” said Eric B. Bass, MD, MPH, FACP, CEO, Society of General Internal Medicine.

Society of Interventional Radiology

“The Society of Interventional Radiology believes physicians are stewards of public health and have the obligation to prevent injury and illness where possible. Because many interventional radiologists are members of trauma teams, SIR joins our fellow physicians in supporting further research into the causes of gun violence to inform the creation of evidence-based policies to ensure safe and responsible gun ownership,” said Laura Findeiss, MD, FSIR, president, SIR.