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ACP Reaffirms Urgent Need for Policies to Reduce Gun Violence in Light of Recent Mass Shootings
Statement attributable to:
Ana María López, MD, MPH, MACP
President, American College of Physicians
Washington, DC (January 29, 2019) — The American College of Physicians (ACP) expresses our sadness and sympathy for those killed in five recent mass shootings over the past five days in Louisiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, and New Jersey. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the physicians, first-responders, law enforcement officers, and others who helped the victims in this time of crisis. ACP firmly believes that firearms-related injuries and deaths can be prevented by implementing common-sense restrictions to keep guns from people who pose a threat to themselves or others, including requiring universal background checks, closing loopholes that allow many domestic violence offenders to obtain guns, enacting extreme risk prevention laws, and banning sales of assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and bump stocks.
In 2018, ACP updated our firearms policy paper, Reducing Firearm-Related Injuries and Deaths in the U.S., which offered support for laws to improve background checks and policies that would reduce gun violence-related deaths. This paper sparked the “This Is Our Lane” movement of physicians speaking out on gun violence prevention, in response to an NRA tweet attacking ACP for taking on the issue. Additionally, ACP supported recent legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would help reduce firearms-related injuries and deaths, including the Raise the Age Act of 2019, which would prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing assault-style weapons, and the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which would expand background checks to cover almost all private firearms sales and transfers, with very limited exceptions.
In the wake of #ThisIsOurLane, it’s more important than ever for physicians to speak out about the growing rate of mass shootings, the overall increase in firearms-related injuries and deaths, and the alarming lack of common-sense gun policy in the U.S. ACP encourages physicians to pledge to discuss harm reduction with at-risk patients who have guns in their homes. This effort to increase awareness and education is intended to reduce firearms-related injuries and deaths. The recent mass shootings are yet another call for policymakers to take concrete action to curb gun violence and protect patients.
All ACP firearms-related health policy content published in Annals of Internal Medicine is free to the public at http://annals.org/aim/pages/firearm-related-content.
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 154,000 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.
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