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ACP Supports Bill to Require Universal Background Checks for Firearms Purchasers

Statement attributable to:
Ana María López, MD, MPH, MACP
President, American College of Physicians

Washington, DC (January 9, 2019) — The American College of Physicians (ACP) is encouraged by the legislation introduced in the House of Representatives yesterday that would expand background checks to cover almost all private firearms sales and transfers, with very limited exceptions. ACP strongly supports policies that strengthen background checks for individuals seeking to purchase firearms and reduce injuries and deaths stemming from gun violence. The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 would substantially improve the background check system and make important strides in improving public health by keeping guns out of the hands of those at risk of harming themselves or others.

In 2018, ACP released a policy paper offering evidence-based strategies to help reduce firearms-related injuries and deaths. The recommendations in Reducing Firearm-Related Injuries and Deaths in the U.S. include support for laws to improve background checks and legislation that will prohibit persons with a history of domestic violence—including persons subject to restraining orders—from buying and possessing firearms.     

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.

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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.

Contact: Julie Hirschhorn, (202) 261-4523, jhirschhorn@acponline.org