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ACP has proposed and advocated similar policies for last 15
April 5, 2013
(Washington) The American College of Physicians (ACP)
today told U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid it applauds
his efforts "in introducing legislation to address needed reforms
in the wake of the Newtown, CT tragedy." In a two-page letter
signed, by ACP President David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, ACP urged that
the Senate be allowed to vote on "The Safe Communities, Safe
Schools Act of 2013 (S. 649), noting that it "represents a
positive step forward in the debate on how best to reduce
firearms-related deaths and injuries and we urge a vote on the
measure in the full Senate."
The letter pointed out that ACP has proposed and advocated for
policies to reduce deaths and injuries related to firearms and
other forms of violence for more than 15 years. "Firearm violence
is a serious public health issue," Dr. Bronson said. "As an
organization representing physicians who have first-hand experience
with the devastating impact on the health of their patients
resulting from firearms-related injuries and deaths, we have a
responsibility to be part of the solution in trying to mitigate
Dr. Bronson continued by pointing out how Sen. Reid's
legislation is consistent with ACP's evidence-based policy. "We
strongly support the provisions to improve the National Instant
Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and require a background
check for every firearm sale. For the NICS to be effective, all
relevant records must be electronically available and added to the
system in a timely manner. An estimated 40 percent of gun sales are
made at gun shows and through private sales which do not require
background checks. Closing this loophole by requiring a background
check for every firearm sale is an essential step toward ensuring
that firearms are kept out of the hands of those who are not
supposed to possess them. We also support your measure that would
provide harsher penalties for 'straw man' purchases of guns. These
reasonable provisions, which are supported by an overwhelming
majority of the public, will help reduce firearms-related injuries
and deaths without infringing on Second Amendment rights. A March
13 poll by the Pew Research Center found that 83 percent of the
public supports background checks for private and gun show sales of
Dr. Bronson also called on Congress "to ban assault-type weapons
and high capacity ammunition magazines, eliminate restrictions on
research on the causes of firearms-related violence, and improve
access to mental health services."
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest
medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician
group in the United States. ACP members include 133,000 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 and Facebook.
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