Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Medical Groups Urge Steps to Cut Gun Violence

APA and seven other medical societies yesterday joined with the American Bar Association in a statement published in Annals of Internal Medicine that calls for a reduction in “the health and public health consequences of firearms.”

“Across the United States, physicians have firsthand experience with the effects of firearm-related injuries and deaths and the impact of such events on the lives of their patients,” said the statement. None of the recommendations contravened the Second Amendment, according to the American Bar Association.

In addition to APA, the other signatories were the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Public Health Association.

The organizations specifically cautioned against the indiscriminate inclusion of “all persons with any mental or substance use disorder in a category of persons prohibited from purchasing firearms,” while supporting greater access to mental health treatment.

The statement also calls for more research into firearm violence and unintentional injury and elimination of laws that prohibit physicians from discussing gun ownership with patients.

"We believe that multidisciplinary, interprofessional collaboration is critical to bringing about meaningful changes to reduce the burden of firearm-related injuries and death on persons, families, communities, and society in general," the authors concluded.

For information in Psychiatric News about the APA Board of Trustees's recent statement on firearms, see "APA Board Urges Public-Health Approach to Gun Violence."

(Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images)


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.